I know there are use by dates on all food products; even ones like salt and honey that i know are used as preservatives and dont really go off. i wondered whether this was similar for sugarpaste. sugar has been used to preserve food items and i just wondered whether something that is essentially all sugar does become un-usable as quickly as the packaging suggests (or is it just a precaution by the manufacturers and a way of making us buy more icing!)
i have noticed expire dates on fondant (wilton) and have kept it and used it for figures and items I know are not going to be eaten just in case. It had never been opened and I could not see tossing it. I had purchased at a store closing for 1.50 per two pound box. It has worked fine. I put it in a zip lock once open and if it seems dry i just nuke it for a few seconds and it is great to work with.
Other brands i have found dont fare so well. satin ice and choco pan for instance. the sadin ice got very oily.. and soft.. just broke down. the choco pan got dried out.
i am sure if you want to use it for something that may be eaten that you can contact the maker and they should be able to tell you.
gumpaste just got hard.
well i have a 1kg box of white sugarpaste in the back of my cupboard that i found the other day..it has an expiry date of 2009 on! Now i would never use this on a cake that i would sell to anyone but am thinking of using it on a practise cake that i would try out different techniques etc. i still want to eat the cake after though without getting sick!
guess there's only one way to find out...