Heavy cream is obtained from the fat content of milk called cream. The cream is separated from milk mechanically from the cream separator based on centrifugal force. Centrifugal force causes the cream to rise and the milk to go in different directions.
In this way, heavy cream is extracted from milk. Heavy cream is used in the form of whipped cream for cake frosting to add extra flavor. You can use it for versatile purposes. As heavy cream is a by-product of milk and it can go bad just like milk.
Bacteria in milk convert the natural sugar present in milk lactose to lactic acid, resulting in heavy cream souring. Fungal growth leads to mold formation on heavy cream. These two factors cause spoilage of heavy cream.
How to store heavy cream?
Heavy creams have expiration dates printed on the carton. Heavy creams are available in markets by different brand names, although they can be prepared at home. Market ones have a longer shelf life if stored properly in the following ways.
Keep it at a cool and dry place
If you look at the heavy cream packaging, they usually come in cartons that are sealed properly. Proper sealing doesn’t let air inside the carton as air has microorganisms and fungal spores, resulting in heavy cream spoilage.
If not placed at a cool and dry place, there is the likelihood of heavy cream rotting as microbes thrive in areas that have moisture, nutrients, and moderate temperature.
Store it in the refrigerator
In case you have prepared heavy cream at home, it lacks the commercial process of pasteurization. So, you need to place it in the refrigerator directly after transferring it in an airtight jar. Commercially produced heavy creams have stabilizers and are pasteurized, which make them last longer.
So, they have a longer shelf life. Pasteurization is a technique in which milk is heated at a very high temperature, leading to lactobacillus bacteria’s death present in it.
After heating at a high temperature, milk is again cooled down at a very low temperature, which ceases the further growth of microorganisms. So, it is recommended to store heavy cream, whether opened or unopened, in the refrigerator.
Placing leftover heavy cream in an airtight jar
Suppose you have opened the seal to use heavy cream. It’s necessary to store leftover heavy cream properly. You need to keep it in an airtight jar or container and store it in the fridge.
Can you freeze heavy cream?
Heavy cream differs from whipped cream based on fat content. Heavy cream contains 40 percent of fat. Yes, you can freeze an unopened heavy cream carton, and when needed, you have to thaw it first.
But when it comes to freezing leftover heavy cream, the answer to this is yes, you can but opened heavy cream doesn’t tend to freeze very well because its texture change when you freeze it.
While defrosting, it will come out kind of grainy due to the lumping of fat molecules. It would taste okay, but there will be a difference in texture. So, it’s better to whip it up and then freeze it.
How long does heavy cream last?
Heavy cream, if unopened, can last 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator. It’s better to freeze unopened heavy cream rather than refrigerating it. Freezing makes it last for a longer period of 3-4 months. Avoid keeping your heavy cream pack in the pantry, even if unopened.
You can freeze the entire unopened carton. All that you have to do is to double wrap it in a plastic bag and then thaw cream in the fridge. In case you have opened the heavy cream pack, store it in the refrigerator as it stays good in the fridge somewhere around 5-6 days.
Freezing opened heavy cream pack can bring changes to its texture, so it’s preferred to whip up the cream before freezing. No change in texture will be seen, and it will taste the same as that of heavy cream.
How to tell if heavy cream is bad?
Heavy creams usually come in sealed bottles, canes, and cartons. They can stay good and the same in taste if stored properly. Following are the ways that can help you in determining whether heavy cream has gone bad or not.
- Observe the texture of heavy cream. Heavy cream usually has a thick, stable, and less watery texture; if there is any difference in cream-style like lumps or aggregation, that’s an indication that your cream is turning bad.
- Another way is to taste it. Heavy cream usually has a pleasant sweet taste. If it tastes sour, it means that your dream is no longer used as a bacterial attack causes lactose sugar present in milk to lactic acid, resulting in heavy cream souring. It’s best to discard off as consuming bad cream can cause several health problems.
- Examine the color of the cream. Heavy cream has a light off-white color. Suppose you see any color change; it is better not to use it. The easy way is to use olfactory sense by smelling it off. If it smells bad, throw it away.