Last Updated on February 12, 2023
And the million-dollar question here is… does meringue powder expire? We’ve got the answer for you.
You’ll see, meringue powder needs special care although it is a non-perishable product. Indeed, let us give you some facts you need to know before you want to store your meringue powder in the cupboard without knowing if it has an expiration date or not. Also, to know about the storage conditions that it needs to approach its shelf life at maximum.
What is Meringue Powder?
I bet you’ve heard about egg powder before. Meringue powder consists of pasteurized dried egg whites transformed into powder. It is used in many recipes such as angel food cakes, meringue, frostings, and royal icing, but you can also use it when baking bread, cookies, muffins, or brownies.
It also has some other additives, such as sugar, cornstarch, Arabic gum, citric acid, cream of tartar, calcium sulfate, and silicon dioxide. All of these components have its function. In general, they’re there to help with its flow, to keep it dry and absorb moisture, and to keep it stabilized.
Pasteurizing egg products is the best way to eliminate Salmonella. This method also prolongs its shelf-life. Check out the next paragraph for more information about this.
Meringue Powder Shelf-Life
So, how long does meringue powder last? Well, even though there are many brands in the market of powdered meringues, it’s very important to differentiate the quality of the powder since there could be ingredients other than dried egg whites that can affect the shelf life of the product.
Now, let’s get to the point, let’s answer your question.
If stored correctly, meringue powder has a shelf life of about 2 years. You must keep it in a dry environment, it should be away from sunlight in a cool, dark place, such as the back of your cupboard. That way we prevent moisture from appearing as well as moths.
So, does meringue powder go bad? The answer is yes, after its maximum shelf life timeframe, of 2 years, it is advisable not to consume it anymore.
Does Meringue Powder Expire?
Certainly, it is the responsibility of the manufacturer to estimate the food’s shelf life. Although many factors can affect the shelf life of the product itself.
Some food commodities have a stable shelf life, such as meringue powder, which can last for months or even years. If you check the meringue powder packages, you will see that the expiration date is about 24 months after the date of preparation.
With this being said, you can feel free to store your meringue powder until that date. Just make sure you follow the storage conditions and don’t use it after its expiration date.
Tips and Tricks About Meringue Powder
- When you make meringue by using meringue powder, it always comes out the same.
- What is leftover can be recycled.
- Depending on what it is going to be used for, with this meringue you can obtain different types of consistencies. This depends on the beating time you give it.
- Meringue can be added to mounted vegetable creams to get more volume and lower its density and fat from the cream.
- Meringue powder is a substitute for eggs that must be beaten until it forms peaks, but not a substitute for a whole egg in a recipe.
- Once applied it doesn’t get harder. It may get a little dry but it remains soft after several days.
- When it’s still warm it has more volume.
- When you refrigerate your meringue, this loses a little volume. But don’t worry, it can be recovered by beating it again right before you’ll use it.
- Cakes covered with this meringue remain in good condition at room temperature or refrigerated.
- When this meringue is ready to use, it lasts 5 days or more at room temperature without deteriorating or losing appearance. However, it lasts much longer if you refrigerate it.
Where Can I Buy Meringue Powder?
It can be purchased in bakery stores and the aisles of a supermarket such as Walmart, Etsy, Michaels, Amazon, King Arthur Baking, etc. And the best thing is that some of them have a home delivery service! Check them out or go to your nearest supermarket, straight to the dry goods area.
But there’s good news: It is also very easy to make at home! Take a look at the next video.
How to Prepare Meringue With Meringue Powder
But how does it work? What is the magic formula for using meringue powder instead of egg whites?
- 2 teaspoons of meringue powder + 2 teaspoons of water = 1 large egg white
This is a very simple product to work with. All you need is 35 grams of meringue powder, 200 ml of water, 500 grams of sugar, 150 ml of water, and 1 or 2 lemons. Ready to take notes?
- All you need to do is get your electric mixer, combine water with your meringue powder, and start beating.
- Meanwhile, you’ll be making a sugar syrup with the sugar, 150 ml of water, and lemon juice.
- Then, once the sugar dissolves, pour carefully into the meringue foam whisking at high speed. And remember, this step needs to be performed in a slow and steady stream. This process will take you about a minute to pour all the syrup in.
- After 2 minutes reduce the speed to medium. And there you have it, ready to use!
How to Know if Meringue Powder is Bad
There are many tell-tale signs to look out for to determine whether your meringue powder has gone bad, and is therefore unusable. Let’s take a closer look at these signs.
- Lumpy. If your meringue powder is starting to lump together, this means that moisture has somehow made its way into the powder. And while it’s safe to eat, it will not do its job effectively at all. Whether it’s all clumped together, or some parts are free from moisture, you should discard it all as it’s unlikely to still work.
- Smell. If your meringue smells anything other than mild and sweet, it likely means that your meringue powder should be discarded. It may smell sour or slightly acid-like when it’s gone bad, instead of sweet.
- Color. The color of meringue powder is usually off-white, although this may vary depending on which brand you’re using. If there are any mold spots on your meringue powder, it is unsafe to consume and should be discarded immediately. Another color change is simply fully changing color because of the time it’s been left unused. It’s best to buy new powder as this is unlikely to do its job well, in comparison to fresh meringue powder.
Can You Use Expired Meringue Powder?
When it comes to using expired meringue powder, as long as there are no bad smells or mold spots, it’s probably safe to consume. However, it will likely have lost its effectiveness, and should probably be replaced with fresh meringue powder. As well as this, meringue powder usually contains dehydrated eggs, which you may want to avoid eating past the expiry date; just in case it does make you ill.
How Long Does Meringue Powder Last After Opening?
As long as your meringue powder is stored correctly, it will last around 2 years. It should be stored in a cool, dry place for best results; like a pantry. Moisture is the enemy of meringue powder, so coolness and low humidity are key. Most meringue powder will have an expiration date on the packaging.
Best Meringue Powder to Use
There are many meringue powders to choose from to aid in your baking. However, I have a few personal favorites that you can’t go wrong with. Let’s take a closer look.
Wilton Meringue Powder
Wilton products are a staple for any budding baker, and their meringue powder is one of these products. It costs around $8.99 for 4oz of product. While the product is certified Kosher, it may contain for peanuts, tree nuts, milk, wheat, fish, and shellfish. If you’re looking for an ideal egg white replacement, look no further than Wilton meringue powder.
Celebakes Meringue Powder
Another popular favorite among bakers is Celebakes meringue powder. It costs around $9.99 for 4oz of product. The shelf life is estimated to be around 18 months for this is certified Kosher. Whether you’re looking for fluffy meringue, or ways to stabilize your frosting, this option is perfect.
Chefmaster Deluxe Meringue Powder
The last option is Chefmaster Deluxe Meringue Powder. This option is gluten-free and certified Kosher, which is ideal for those with additional dietary requirements. It costs around $10 for 5oz of product. Whether stabilizing your baked goods or elevating your frosting, I love this meringue powder.
How to Read Wilton Expiry Dates
Wilton is the most common option when it comes to meringue powder. However, their expiry date system is slightly different. Instead of an expiration date, they have a manufacturing date added to their meringue powder. You can then safely consume the product for up to two years after that date.
Let’s take a look at how the Julian date code works.
The first two numbers stand for the year (2021) and the next three numbers are the day of the year it was made, out of the 365 days (001 is January 1st).
To Sum Up…
Drying was one of the first methods that man used for the preservation of food. Therefore, to preserve egg products properly, the storage instructions and expiration date indicated on the packaging must always be respected.
The manufacturer guarantees the food safety of the product while the container remains closed until the time indicated as the expiration date. Once the container is opened, its contents can be contaminated by the environment.
Now you know that this wonderful meringue powder product requires proper care to stay intact as best as possible. Just follow the storage prompts and enjoy it as many times as you want!