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Ask the Expert Archive

After storing dates in the original packages in our pantry for some time, I noticed some white ‘powder’ on the surface. The taste is the same as before. Are the fruits still healthy for consumption? Thank you. Dijon.

If they have been stored properly [kept in a tightly sealed container and stored in a dark cool environment], dates can last up to a year or more. They will have a tendency to dry out, but are still edible. Simply put them into a bowl of warmed water and let them hydrate for 10 – 20 minutes, depending upon how dry they are. 

The “white powder” issue will occur when dates are not stored properly; the “white powder” is the natural sugar crystallizing on the surface as you stated below. This occurs mostly during warm temperatures. I like to keep my dates in the refrigerator or freezer. They last longer and don’t get that white powder effect. Dates are considered a dried fruit, when in actuality they are a fresh fruit, naturally sun-dried by nature. For more information on dates visit our Fruit & Vegetable Nutrition Database. You can also find information on tons of other fruits and vegetables to make sure you keep your vegetables fresh for as long as possible!

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