Fermentation, encapsulation may benefit shelf life

by Jeff Gelski
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CHICAGO – Creating baked foods with simpler ingredient lists and using encapsulation to improve yield were two shelf life areas covered during a March 5 session at the American Society of Baking’s BakingTech 2013 in Chicago.

Studies have shown consumers will pay about 10% more for products with clean/simple labels, said Beth Jones, Ph.D., vice-president, business development, Pharma, Nutrition and Functional Ingredients at Kerry Ingredients & Flavours in Beloit, Wis. Consumers increasingly look for ingredient lists with no additives.

“This is gaining, gaining, gaining more momentum,” Dr. Jones said.

Her presentation focused on natural antimicrobials with similar functionality to calcium propionate. She talked about such alternative ingredients as raisin juice concentrate, vinegar and cultured starch.

Formulators should keep taste in mind when using vinegar, she said. When its use nears 1% of the application, consumers may start tasting the vinegar.

Fermented-type products tend to be more effective than non-fermented products and more closely resemble the effectiveness of calcium propionate, she said. For example, Kerry offers cultured wheat starch and cultured wheat flour.

Dr. Jones said pH will be a driving factor in the efficacy and functionality of organic acids used.

The lowest possible pH is desirable, said Harpreet Sangha, technical development manager, Food, Pharma & Human Nutrition, Balchem Corp., New Hampton, N.Y. She added even if formulators are in the right pH range and using antimicrobials, encapsulation still may provide assistance.

When acids are added to the dough, they may affect dough rheology negatively, she said. Encapsulating the acid allows formulators to avoid the undesirable actions. The encapsulated acids only become available after the yeast has done its work.

Encapsulated acids may increase shelf life in flat bread and tortillas and also improve yield and appearance, Ms. Sangha said.

One encapsulation example was found at the BakingTech exhibit for Clabber Girl Corp., Terre Haute, Ind. The company has introduced InnovaFresh encapsulated fumaric acid for use in bread.

According to the company, using InnovaFresh in yeast bread recipes may lead to such benefits as 50% less calcium propionate required, 10% less yeast required and a 5-minute reduction in rise time. Because of the encapsulation, the fumaric acid is released in the baking process instead of in the mixing process, where it would affect yeast negatively.

In a study, a control formula included calcium propionate at 95c a lb used at 0.25% of the application and yeast at $2.25 a lb used at 2%. Extended ingredient costs came to $47.38 per 1,000 loaves.

The other formula included calcium propionate at 95c a lb used at 0.125%, yeast at $2.25 a lb used at 1.8% and encapsulated fumaric acid at $2.10 a lb used at 0.125%. Extended ingredient costs came to $44.32 per 1,000 loaves.
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