Why do high calorie foods like table sugar, honey, chocolate, jams and spreads have such a long shelf life instead of teeming with bacteria after a few days?

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Why do high calorie foods like table sugar, honey, chocolate, jams and spreads have such a long shelf life instead of teeming with bacteria after a few days?

In: Biology
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The manufacturing and storage processes are legally required to be clean to keep contamination from happening. Companies that sold products that were easily contaminated would be put out of business quickly because there are strict laws to ensure that these things do not happen.

Sugar, honey, and jams have such a high concentration of sugar that they will pull water out of any bacterial/fungal cells that land on them, as sugar is hygroscopic (it sucks water out of whatever is around it). The cells, without water, cannot survive, so they will die.

Over enough time and with enough water, the sugar will not longer be able to pull that much water out of the bacterial cells, meaning they can survive and reproduce. So the food must have a very high concentration of sugar in order to last; lower concentrations will go bad much more quickly.

Not all high calorie foods are created equal. Your example of table sugar, honey, chocolate, jams, and spreads are all high sugar (or basically all sugar) items. Sugar is hygroscopic which means that it absorbs water from its environment which includes bacteria. Bacteria cannot survive without moisture and basically collapse when it is removed (similar to how salt is a food preservative).

So the things you listed basically do not allow the growth of bacteria because they absorb the moisture required for bacteria to grow and live.