Cain Foods
AlphaFresh helps bakers remove undesirable chemicals from labels and replace them with consumer-friendly cultured wheat. 

The laundry list of ingredients consumers don’t want in their products continues to grow and artificial preservatives are at the top of it. According to data from Packaged Facts, 40% of consumers — 65% of them ¬millennials — are familiar with the term “clean label” and associate it with recognizable, all-natural ingredients.

Seeing how this changing preference is affecting bakers, Cain Food Industries, Inc., sought to create a replacement for conventional mold inhibitors, which are typically perceived as undesirable by consumers, found in many baked goods.

“AlphaFresh was developed to fill a gap in the need for clean label mold inhibitors and deliver the effectiveness bakeries desire,” said Bradley Cain, vice-president, Cain Food. “Our product allows bakers to move away from chemical shelf life extenders to a label-friendly cultured wheat.”

The acids in Alphafresh are derived through a natural fermentation process. Unlike synthetic mold inhibitors such as calcium propionate, these acids lower pH levels and limit potential mold growth in bakery items. Extensive testing and shelf life studies performed in-house and in full-scale production during development revealed that AlphaFresh performed as well as or better than common commercial inhibitors to help bakers deliver a product that can last longer without the use of artificial components.

This ingredient can easily be incorporated into formulations for fresh, par-baked and frozen bakery products. An organic version of the solution is also available.

“This gives consumers the option of buying a clean label product for themselves and their families,” Mr. Cain said. Before applying, he advised, bakers should consider the typical length of an item’s shelf life, its packaging, moisture content and finished product pH, which all contribute to reducing product spoilage.

AlphaFresh also optimizes the lifespan of baked foods without imparting unwelcome flavors or odors frequently associated with similar methods. It also has a minimal effect on processing and finished product characteristics such as texture and crumb.

AlphaFresh can be listed on food packages as cultured or fermented wheat, removing the confusion that often arises with other preservatives that consumers might consider undesirable. For more information about AlphaFresh, visit