Boba also called Boba pearls or Tapioca pearls is made of Tapioca starch extracted from cassava root. Boba Pearls when added to Bubble tea will definitely bring your drinks to a whole new level. Although most of the time, there are no leftover Boba pearls but there are also instances where leftovers can be possible or if you want to store Boba for use at a later time. In here, let us talk more about Boba and does Boba go bad. We will also be talking about how to store left over Boba pearls.
Does Boba Go Bad?
Before we talk about if Boba can go bad or how to store Boba, let us first tackle about how Boba pearls are made.
These are different varieties of Boba pearls: black Boba, white Boba, popping Boba or also called exploding Boba (spheres filled with fruit-juice when burst inside the mouth when consumed or eaten)
How to make Boba Pearls
Making Boba pearls is easy and only requires simple ingredients such as tapioca starch, brown sugar and water.
To make Boba, simply dissolve brown sugar and water. Then, add tapioca starch then mix thoroughly until a dough is formed. Next, roll dough form long logs. Cut logs into small pieces (same size), then each pieces is rolled to form balls. A classic Boba pearls will be formed.
How long does Boba Last
There are different varieties of Boba, and each variety will explained below as well as how long each variety will last.
Homemade Boba (uncooked Boba)
Boba pearls can be purchased in the grocery store but if at times you may want to make your own Home made Boba at the comfort of home, keep in mind that Homemade Boba will not las longer than commercial Boba since it undergoes sterilization. But homemade Boba tastes better than Commercial Boba because of the ingredients used.
After cooking tapioca, sprinkled with tapioca starch and then place in the fridge. As mentioned, raw Boba pearls lasts longer than cooked pearls especially when raw Boba are stored inside the freezer at 0°F. Make sure to store raw Boba is a dry airtight container. Raw Boba can lasts up to six months when stored correctly and the storage condition is maintained.
But if raw Boba will be used the following day, you can just store them inside the fridge so that there’s no need to defrost and wait to use it the following day. When stored in the fridge, Boba pearls will be edible for a maximum of 6 days but it is usually recommended to use it within a span of 3 or 4 days.
As mentioned, commercial Boba lasts longer than homemade Boba, though the former may contains additives that helps shelf life to prolonged.
If after buying Boba in the grocery store, for unopened bag (still sterilized) it will typically lasts between 6 to 12 months but to be sure always check the packaging as to the expiration date. When commercial Boba is opened, it should be stored in a dry airtight container.
Is it okay to store Cooked Boba in the Pantry
Boba pearls are cooked in different ways: in the microwave, in an instant pot or cooked using rice cooker. It can either be boiled or steamed. During the cooking process, moisture is absorbed that helps Boba become gelatin-like that usually result to its chewy texture. Since cooked Boba pearls have moisture, it is likely that bacteria can develop. Dry Boba on the other hand is less likely to develop bacteria because it is dry.
It is not recommended to store cooked Boba in the pantry because the lifespan of cooked Boba pearls placed in the pantry is just between 3 to 4 hours after the cooling process after cooking. Make sure to use cooked Boba within that particular time frame.
If at some point you are not able to store cooked Boba inside the refrigerator, it is advisable to just cook enough Boba (so that there will be no leftovers) or you can simply leave it dry.
Since Boba pearls are added to beverages such as Bubble milk tea drinks, the shelf life of the Boba pearl will no longer be the same. Most of the time, milk and sometimes eggs are added to some dessert therefore pearls expire sooner than Boba pearls will.
Cooked Boba Pearls
When we say cooked Boba pearls, it simply means the dough that is formed into balls has already been boiled in water until it becomes a translucent Boba. After the cooking process, Boba are strained of water (using a strainer) and then under running water to remove the starch that will result to a shorter shelf life.
When these cooked tapioca pearls are added to milk tea and there is leftover from the tea, it can still be stored in the fridge but will only lasts for 2-3 days. It is highly recommended to store cooked Boba for no longer than 4 hours and must be consumed within the next 6 hours.
How long does Tapioca pearls lasts when placed in the fridge
It can be potentially harmful if Boba pearls will not be properly stored.
For cooked Tapioca pearls, here’s what you need to do:
- Allow Tapioca pearls to cool down at room temperature. Make sure not to place directly inside the fridge especially when the pearls is removed from the stovetop recently.
- Place tapioca pearls in an air-tight sealed container. Make sure it is odor-free and moisture-free.
- Place container inside the refrigerator that could lasts for 3 days.
Tapioca pearls with additives that is placed together the container, the shelf life of these pearls will either be shortened or will lengthened that depends on the kind of additive added.
Freezing Tapioca pearls
If at some point, Tapioca pearls will not be used within the next 3 days you may need to store Boba in the freezer. Store cooked Tapioca pearls only and do not store uncooked Boba pearls. Freezing uncooked Boba will result to changes in the quality of its texture when frozen.
How to Freeze cooked Boba Pearls:
- Allow tapioca pearls to completely cool down.
- Dry Tapioca pearls by straining using a strainer to remove excess water.
- After draining, place Boba inside an air-tight plastic bag or plastic pouch (make sure bag is resealable). For 2 or more pouches per batch, you can just easily stack on top of each other.
- Store Boba pearls placed inside the pouch in the freezer (deepest part). Make sure to place them away from other items inside the freezer that could crushed the pearls.
Raw and Uncooked Boba
Since Boba is made from tapioca starch extracted from cassava root, it is not advisable to eat uncooked Boba simply because Cassava is known to contain a highly toxic chemical called cyanide that could be potentially harmful to humans.
But, most of uncooked tapioca pearls does not contain the chemical since simply soaking the pearls could remove cyanide found in cassava roots. Though, it can be an unpleasant experience to consume and eat uncooked Boba pearls because of its hard texture.
Several Signs of Spoilage
Discoloration and Molding
Ideally, Boba pearls color ranges between light to dark brown and sometimes black (depends on the syrup used to make the pearls). When tapioca pearls starts to go bad, you will immediately notice a change in color such as colors of green, yellow, and grey.
Another sign of spoilage that you need to be aware is the foul odor and sometimes changes in flavor too.
Since Popping Boba is made of agar powder and not tapioca starch, it will usually lasts for a very long time (up to 18 months). As mentioned, Popping Boba is filled with fruit juice that bursts when eaten or consumed.
To thaw uncooked frozen Boba, you can simply boil it. It should not be placed in a microwave as it will lose it structure and texture.