Term “jello” is usually referred to all gelatin based deserts, made of gelatin with color additives, sweeteners and different aroma. Many people usually associate jello with strawberry, orange and lemon flavored gelatin sweets. Actually, jello or “Jell-O” is a brand name, but we use the term jello for all gelatin deserts and snacks. Gelatin is a natural product of animal origin, composed of stringy proteins called collagen. There are numerous urban myths about the actual origin of gelatin.
There are different stories about gelatin making. Some still believe it comes from cow and horse hooves, but that is not true. Gelatin is obtained through process of boiling bones and hides of animals, usually pigs and cows. Hooves aren’t used, because they consist of a different type of protein than the one found in bones. Hooves contain keratin and keratin can not produce gelatin.
When it comes to jello deserts, gelatin needs to be heated in water. Hot water breaks the bonds which keep collagen together. After that, solution of gelatin is cooled, so the collagen strands rebound once more, along with the water trapped inside. That makes jello products semisolid and slippy. It can be used both for preparing a common jello fruit flavor dessert, but you can also use it as an ingredient for cake. It would make it surprisingly moist and tasteful. Prepared jello can also be used in decoration of desserts.
Jello is the only chewable food that can be consumed on a liquid diet and it comes in a regular and sugar-free form. Most people enjoy prepared gelatin desserts in many flavors. It comes in various fruit aroma, such as strawberry, blackberry, cherry, grape, lemon, orange, apricot and many more. Jello can be a good choice as a sweet treat for people who want to lose weight and still want to eat something sweet. It is not high in calories and it contains animal protein.
Dry and prepared jello shelf life
Shelf life of gelatin products and food depends on form of gelatin itself. Dry jello or jello powder should be safe to use for a long period of time, if stored properly. Packages of jello powder always have their “best before” date, which refers to an estimate of the best quality of the product.
However, if you keep it in good conditions it could last indefinitely. Jello powder should be perfectly fine to use whenever you want to, if you store it in a dry and cool area. Once the package is opened, make sure you always seal it properly when not in use. Basically, the only thing that could badly affect jello powder is moist. If water in any form gets in touch with the powder it can spoil it in just a couple of days and you will need to discard it.
Unopened package of dry jello could be safely stored over two years period. Once the package is opened, the best advice is to use it within six months from opening. It should be fine even longer, if stored properly. Just make sure it is dry. If you notice any traces of moist, get rid of it.
Prepared jello should be safe to eat for about a week, maybe a couple of days longer. However, it is recommended to eat it within a few days of preparing. It should always be kept in the fridge. In fact, it does not go bad after a week, but it loses its taste and quality, so many people throw it away before it is actually spoiled. If it sits for a long time in the fridge, jello loses its aroma and becomes runny. On the other hand, it can go moldy. If you notice any traces of mold on the surface, that is obvious sign it is unsafe to consume.
When you make jello dessert yourself, just pay attention on the fruit you mix gelatin powder with. Some sorts of fruit can affect its thickening properties.
Can jello go bad?
So, yes, jello can go bad. Dry gelatin powder could be completely fine for long periods of time, if stored in a dry and cool place. You can safely use it and prepare it whenever you want to, if there are no signs of moist.
When it comes to prepared jello, this sweet slippy dessert can go bad more quickly. It should be fine for some time, if stored in the fridge, but the best advice is to simply eat it after it is made or bought. If you store it for some time, pay attention on signs of deterioration. If you notice watery liquid pockets on jello and its taste becomes somewhat bitter, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is gone bad, but it certainly isn’t tasty. Obvious signs of spoiling are bright bacterial marks or mold on the surface. In that case, it needs to be thrown away.