MADRID, SPAIN - JANUARY 30: Actress Carla Campra attends to 'La Niña De La Comunion' photocall at URSO Hotel on January 30, 2023 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Borja B. Hojas/WireImage)
The Science Behind Why Fruitcake Lasts So Long
By Chase Shustack
Fruitcake is exactly what it sounds like: a cake made with dried fruit, usually combined with nuts and spices, and one fruitcake, according to the World Record Academy, is 143 years old, showing no signs of decay or rot whatsoever. Whether you eat it, bake it, or just don't like it all, fruitcake's most fascinating trait is its incredibly long shelf life.
Fruitcakes last long due to a process known as denaturation, in which the molecular structure of a protein changes, thus changing how the protein functions. One of the main ingredients in fruitcake is alcohol, which helps to kill off bacteria and changes the protein of the fruitcake's cells, preventing it from molding or decaying.
Moreover, the dried or candied fruit used in fruitcakes has little to no moisture, so it cannot decay like fresh fruits. Some even argue that fruitcakes actually get better with age because the tannins inside the dried fruit release "new flavor compounds" over time, which supposedly add a much richer and more complex flavor to the fruitcake, according to ABC News.