Can You Freeze Jello?

Jello is a rich fruit-flavored dessert that has been around for years. It comes in different flavors and colors. Adults and kids alike universally enjoy jello. It is one of the longest standing treats in our home.

People from different corners of the world enjoy Jello differently. While some people prefer to put Jello in yogurt, others love to eat them directly from the cups. However, if you are in a mood to spice things up, you can add fruits. It tastes fantastic with a mix of fruits and yogurt. Similarly, you can top it up with whipped cream.

Either way, it is a palatable dessert which you’ll find in the dinner table of most people, especially in the United States. You can decide to buy Jello from a store or prepare your own. Today the name Jello is used to market a variety of snacks and desserts. We have even seen Jello as a part of cake dressings. The preferences are quite diverse.

You might be surprised to learn that Jello is a brand name owned by Kraft food. Initially, it was used to refer to gelatin made by the brand. Today normal gelatin is termed as Jello. It is used to refer to gelatin-based desserts with coloring, fruit flavoring and sweeteners. Basically, Jello is a dessert that is sweet, colorful and usually contains fruit flavors.

Jello is formed by bonds of gelatin molecules. These bonds are not necessarily the covalent bonds that we learned in chemistry but rather a network that results in a gel-like structure. The word out there is that Jello is made from animal hooves, more precisely cows and horses. But this is entirely untrue. In a real sense, we get Jello from boiling bones and hides of cows, pigs and animals that we eat. Collagen, which usually comes from animal fats, is the main constituent of gelatin. However, today we have Jello prepared from vegetable oil.

Can you freeze Jello?

Well, let us now get into the crux of the matter — the big question of whether you can freeze Jello or not. Technically, the simple answer is yes. While the quality of Jello will not deteriorate, but eating it will never be the same. Therefore although freezing won't ruin your Jello, it will definitely change it.

Ideally, the reason you would want to freeze Jello is to increase longevity. Unfortunately, freezing will not increase its shelf life.  It actually remains the same. During parties, some people freeze Jello in preparation for Jello shots. This is not a good idea because Jello and alcohol have different freezing points and hence they do not mix well. Water freezes at 0 degrees Celsius while alcohol freezes at -97 degrees Celsius. Most Freezers can only go as low as -20 degree Celsius. Therefore Jello shots will not be wholly frozen. 

The taste may be the same, but the taste will not be so appealing.The gelatin in the dessert does not allow it to harden as the case would with ice cubes. Freezing can damage gelatin network molecules hence losing its texture. It also damages the colloids and polymers bonding the gelatin together. The bonds in water break when frozen, hence forming crystals. Hence the gel’s physical structure and integrity of the bonds are broken. This damage is irreparable. While it maintains the structure, it just looks odd.

Freezing will not necessarily affect the taste; therefore you can freeze it if you do not mind the squishy appearance with gels’ watery lumps. More importantly, you should note that freezing does not elongate its lifespan. It will go rancid after 7 to 10 days.

The bottom line is that freezing will not change the taste of the Jello, but the texture and consistency will be different. You may actually end up ruining the tantalizing drink you’ve prepared for your guests. Thawing will actually alter the appearance of Jello as a whole. Hence you should think twice before freezing Jello.

What happens after freezing?

Since the bonds in Jello molecules are semi-strong, they are bound to reform or break when you freeze. The experience may actually be bad though the consequences are not precisely so. There is also a possibility that the taste will deteriorate after freezing. Freezing Jello means you are playing around with temperature. Low temperature breaks the bond formation in the gelatin molecules. Consequently, the Jello loses its structure and tantalizing visual appeal.

We would advise not freezing Jello especially if planning to serve it in a party. The look will not be so appetizing to the guests though the quality may be unaffected. You will, therefore, have two problems. First, the Jello will lose its visual appeal and also the taste won’t be the same.

For packaged Jello, you should store it in a cool and dry place where they are not susceptible to changes in temperature. It is advisable to cover it with plastic wrap to prevent moisture and air from spoiling it. Prepackaged and sealed Jello stored at room temperature can last up to four months. If stored in the fridge they can be safe even for more than one year.

Does Jello Go Bad?

Any dessert that contains water and high sugar level is about to go bad after a specific period , usually less than 10 days.  When the time lapses the Jello will get rotten anyway. Keeping your Jello in a cup inside the fridge will not guarantee longevity to your Jello.

I have mentioned above that when you freeze you Jello, it changes the outlook but not the quality. However, after a definite period the quality and outlook of the Jello will definitely change. Jello cups which contain fruits will go bad much faster. The desserts will likely spoil in less than three days.

When does it become inedible?

The rule of the thumb is to discard Jello after seven days after preparation regardless of whether it is Jello cup or homemade Jello. You should never eat them after ten days. This brings us to the question: what is the shelf life of Jello? Jello will be good for consumption 7-10 days. Regardless of which storage way you use it will go bad after ten days. In fact, it may go bad before the timeframe. Constant change in temperature is one of the reasons that make Jello go bad.

Jello just like any other food can go bad. The lifespan also depends on ingredients used to prepare the Jello. Since it contains high levels of sugar and water, nothing can prevent it from getting spoiled with time. On the other Hand, Jello cups are more likely to go bad since they have fruit in them. Ideally, you will just have about two or three days to consume your Jello before it becomes inedible.

However, there are prepackaged cups that are sealed and kept in room temperature. Well, these ones can stay unspoiled for quite a long time, up to four months. They can even stay longer if you keep them in the fridge. You just have to ensure you seal them properly.

How do you realize that it is time to throw the Jello away? If you feel a sharp or bitter taste instead of a sweet one just know that the Jello has gone bad. If you Jello contain water in the gelatin space that tells you it has become inedible.  The watery liquid is the first signal of caution. If you see dark mold or light bacterial marks just know your Jello has gone bad. If you keep your Jello for about 15 days, you will find it has mold.

You should never consume Jello in this state. It may lead to food poisoning.  Packaged Jello may still be intact for ten days or more. However, once you open you cannot save it anymore. You have to eat all of it. It is therefore advisable to buy small cups of Jello and eat full of it. There is no need to waste food.

How to store Jello?

Whether we are talking about prepared, packages or dry mix Jello, it should be stored in a place with low humidity and low temperature. Ensure that the area does not experience temperature fluctuations. Also, cover the Jello with a wrap to prevent it from coming into contact with air or moisture. These two will definitely destroy your Jello.

Temperature changes alter the physical state of the water in Jello hence forming air and liquid pockets. These accelerate the formation of molds in the package. If yours is homemade Jello keep it in a food container that is properly sealed. To ensure that it lasts longer keep it in the fridge immediately.

Ensure that you clean the kitchen tools to minimize the risk of spoilage. Always maintain a temperature less than 23 degree Celsius if you want to store sealed jello containers in the cupboard. Remember that the two worst enemies are moisture and heat. This case also applies for dry Jello mix. If you are storing it at room temperature ensure it is tightly sealed with no heat and humidity.

Tips on increasing shelf life

At times you may have buy tons of Jello. After 6 or 7 days it will start tasting bitter. After ten days it will completely go bad. Instead of freezing you Jello you can use other alternative measures to increase the shelf life of your Jello. When you buy Jello, the prudent thing to do is store in the refrigerator. Basically, put the Jello in cups and cover them with plastic wrap. This helps to keep the moisture away. Ensure that you do not take out the Jello unless you want to eat. The Jello should remain intact. Changing the temperatures will jeopardize the condition.

Another measure is knowing when and when not to store your Jello in the refrigerator. If the Jello was not refrigerated when buying it from the store you should store it in sealed containers it is advisable not to store it in a refrigerator. On the flip side if it was in the fridge when buying it is shrewd to refrigerate them. Whenever you store your Jello in the fridge just ensure it does not go beyond -23 degree Celsius. That way the lifespan will increase.

Jello Mixes

Would like to prepare delicious desserts for your family? In this section, we provide you with take away on how some Jello mixes you may want to try.  If you have some leftover Jello or you like trying things out, these wonderful desserts will make your dinner better. You will also avoid wasting your Jello.

Coconut Rum Jello

If you like hosting a party, this is your deal. Serve your guests with coconut rum Jello shots and in no time you will be their favorite host. Basically, you just need to combine pineapple and peach flavored Jello with some rum and water.

Jello Cakes

Jello works pretty well with everything. Whether it is cheesecake, chocolate cake and red velvet cake you can definitely use Jello. All you have to do is choose a suitable flavor. For instance, Chocolate cake use guava or strawberry flavored Jello. If you prefer cheesecake go for blueberry flavor.

Jello Yogurt Pudding

Yogurt puddings made with Jello are as delicious as they look. When it comes to preparing Jello yogurt pudding the main focus is on taste, garnishing and color. You can definitely get creative by tweaking the flavors and colors as much as you like. The goal here is to make it mouth-watering as possible.

Conclusion

Generally, you can freeze Jello. But that will not help much in anything, no benefit. It will just make your Jello feel and look worse. Actually, it will not look as appetizing as it was before. The prudent thing to do is to keep it in the fridge and consume it in less than one week. If you want something that won't deteriorate due to freezing get yourself Jello pudding pops. You can find them in a frozen state. Our general advice is not to freeze, as this would have consequences in regards to taste and look.

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