This is why chocolate sometimes turns gray and icky.

Chocolate contains cocoa butter, a vegetable fat which is sensitive to heat and humidity. Chocolate melts at around 75 degrees F. Temperatures just a tad below that mark (70 - 75) will keep the chocolate more or less solid, but will tease the oils towards the surface.

Chocolate candies with oily fillings (chocolate-covered nuts, pralines) are particularly subject to cocoa butter bloom. Cocoa butter itself is quite resistant to breakdown, thus it does not go rancid quickly - but other oils are not so lucky, and chocolates containing nuts will therefore go bad far more quickly than other chocolate delights. In this case the inner oils migrate outward, not only making the surface appear unpleasantly chalky, but often also causing not-so-tasty chemical changes along the way. It is possible for manufacturers to use special bloom-retarding fats to slow the process. Sometimes simply adding a little clarified butter helps make the distribution of fats more random, and so solves the problem.

A similar sort of discoloration is called sugar bloom, which is the same thing. But with SUGAR. Both of these problems are invisible in the case of white chocolate.

Prolonged exposure to heat may eventually result in loss of flavor, but usually, cocoa butter bloom has little or no effect on a chocolate's quality. The worst it can do is make your chocolate chips look as though they've got leprosy. They are safe to use, and the discoloration usually disappears on melting and resolidification. But sometimes it doesn't.

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