Science Questions

What happens to cake that's been frozen for 11 years?

Sat, 24th Sep 2011

Listen Now    Download as mp3 from the show Cheese Making and Cake Baking: The Chemistry of Cookery


Jeanette Darling-Roden asked:

My friend and I found a cake in the freezer today. The label on the cover of it had a data August 8th, 2000! It smells and looks fine, if a bit dry. Is it safe to eat something that's been kept from moulding for this long?


Amy -  Well in terms of the microbiology, I'm not really an expert, but in terms of how the cake will be now compared to when it was first frozen I think that the problem could be the development of large ice crystals over time.  You see, small ice crystals are okay, but over time they can grow as the temperature in the freezer fluctuates and the crystals melt and re-freeze.  This can dry the cake by removing all its moisture, and the crystals can get so big that they cut into the cake, affecting the structure.

Chris -  So it doesn’t taste as good.

Amy -  I would expect not!


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