Regarded as the largest selling prepared desert worldwide, and an all-time favorite for people all across the globe, Jello truly needs no introduction.
The brand name Jell-O owned by Kraft Foods is a generic and household name for gelatin and pudding products, both available in a wide spectrum of tantalizing flavors.
Jell-O pudding is not to be confused with Jello, as the former contains milk among other ingredients.
This leads to the big question — does Jello pudding need to be refrigerated?
Short answer is just about any food product needs to be refrigerated including Jello, but here’s how to do it the right way.
What is Jello Pudding? What is Jello Pudding Made Of?
Jello pudding is basically instant pudding that is manufactured in powder form, and can be had in a wide range of flavors.
Further, some flavors of Jello pudding such as banana cream, pistachio, and vanilla are available as a sugar free low-calorie product, whereas some as seasonal including classic turtle and pumpkin spice.
The ready to eat Jello pudding does not contain high fructose syrup, any artificial preservatives or flavors.
This scrumptious snack for young and old, and everyone in between is made with skim milk, water, modified cornstarch, vitamin D, and less than 15 percent of hydrogenated vegetable oil.
The Jello powder cook and serve instant pudding also does not contain any artificial flavors, and boasts a simple ingredient deck.
Some of the ingredients in Jello cook and serve pudding include dextrose, cornstarch, modified cornstarch, sugar, and less than 2 percent fumaric acid and salt.
Some consumers ask is Jello pudding vegan, and short answer is yes, both for the Jell-O instant pudding mix or in their cook and serve pudding, because they do not contain any eggs or animal byproducts.
How Long Does Jello Pudding Last?
Jello ready to eat packaged pudding generally lasts for several months, and is usually labelled with an expiry or best before date.
With regards to powder Jello pudding, things get a bit trickier, as it depends on several factors, most notably storage method.
Jello pudding mixes typically last for a week or so in the refrigerator, especially if you’ve added raw eggs and milk over and above the manufacturer ingredient list.
It is however highly recommended that you store the Jello pudding in the fridge right after you make it, but you many still be able to consume it even if left on the counter overnight.
Does Jello Pudding Need to be Refrigerated?
Jello ready to eat puddings are not the same as the milk tetra packs that don’t require refrigeration.
Even though you can store them in your pantry at room temperature, they will have a shorter shelf life, probably due to the type of packaging, and the less use of preservatives.
Powdered Jello pudding can last in the fridge for up to a week.
Further, you can enhance the longevity of your Jello powder packets bought from the store by storing in an environment that is not susceptible to temperature change.
Items that are susceptible to temperature changes from cool to warm and vice versa invite moisture from the air, resulting in condensation inside the packages.
However, it is worth noting that both prepared Jello pudding and off the shelf powder pudding should be refrigerated upon opening.
There are several ways to refrigerate Jello pudding, and the best way depends on how you’re going to serve the desert.
After you make Jello pudding, i.e., beat the cream cheese, adding the dry pudding mix, you can use airtight desert ice cream cups to maintain freshness for individual servings.
SIGNORA WARE desert ice cream cups are BPA free, and are made from food grade plastic.
Additionally, they feature air tight lids to avoid spillage of the Jello pudding.
Best of all, they are washable and reusable, so you don’t have to buy more containers the next time you make Jello pudding.
If you’d like to serve your Jello pudding to a larger crowd, and in a fancier way, you may want to try a decorative storage option such as the Anchor Hocking Monaco Footed Trifle Bowl.
It is expertly crafted, and made from highly durable glass, and will not warp, stain or retain smells.
Does Jello Pudding Go Bad?
As mentioned earlier, all food products do go bad at some point including Jello pudding.
Jello pudding should have three dates labelled on the box — expiration date, sell by date and use by date.
These terms in most cases are often used interchangeably, but they mean several different things.
Starting with Jello pudding expiration date, it is generally longer compared to prepared smack cup pudding, and should not be consumed past that date.
Sell by date is geared towards retailers that sell Jello pudding, because the longer after they sell past this date, the less time you will have to use it before the expiration date.
The use by date doesn’t really apply to shelf Jello pudding, but for ready to eat Jello cup puddings.
Can You Freeze Jello Pudding?
Just like refrigeration, you can freeze Jello pudding, but this may affect its taste over time.
For example, cookies tend to become soggy when frozen.
But, Jello pudding does well when frozen, and can even last more than three months when stored in a freezer.
In terms of how to freeze pudding, the process is quite easy, but there are few things to do before setting Jello pudding in the freezer.
- Ensure that the Jello pudding is cool before placing in the freezer.
- Store the Jello pudding in airtight freezer safe cups or containers, and never in glass containers or bowls unless they are labelled safe for freezer use.
- After storing Jello pudding in containers and in the freezer, do not remove and attempt to store again in the freezer, as doing so may affect its quality.
Can You Eat Expired Jello Pudding?
It is absolutely not recommended to eat any expired food products, but you should know if your Jello pudding is expired to begin with.
The first sign of expired Jello pudding is pockets of watery liquid, where the liquid has separated from the other ingredients.
You can also taste a small bit of the Jello pudding, and if you feel any bitter flavor and not sweet flavor, the Jello pudding must not be consumed further.
Another way to determine if Jello pudding has gone bad without tasting it is by looking for bright bacterial marks or dark mold on the Jello pudding’s surface.
Jello pudding is an easy to make world famous desert, and just like any desert should be refrigerated to prevent it from going bad.
You can refrigerate or freeze Jello pudding in air tight fridge and freezer friendly containers, but refrain from storing in the freezer, and re-storing in the freezer after consumption.
Jello pudding that is not made yet, meaning unopened boxes from the store can be stored for longer periods at room temperatures such as in your pantry.
But once opened, the store bought Jello pudding packets may deteriorate in freshness or even expire faster.