Bakers can choose between natural or synthetic antioxidant solutions for anti-staling. However, consumer demand for ingredients they recognize has many bakers feeling the pressure to shift to natural ingredients while maintaining quality expectations. It’s a hard needle to thread.

“Staling, rancidity and mold are the three challenges facing the baking industry,” said Min Hu, PhD, principal scientist and antioxidant team leader, Corbion. “Bakers are challenged to extend shelf life using natural and effective anti-staling ingredients while maintaining qualities such as freshness, moistness, resilience, texture and required shelf life.”

Jenn Adams, director, ingredient technology and applications, IFPC, pointed out that alpha tocopherols, for example, can appear on the label as simply “vitamin E” or “natural vitamin E” without any parenthetical descriptor identifying their function as antioxidants. 

Natural solutions, however, can have their limits. Customization and blending can be necessary to ensure they provide bakers what they need. 

“Standard natural solutions have certain limitations and undesirable properties that can negatively affect the final product’s sensory attributes,” said Ksenija Uroic, PhD, global product marketing for food protection, IFF. “As a response to this challenge, IFF’s Guardian portfolio offers plant extracts that are reduced in bitterness, deliver fewer off-flavors and have a light color. IFF offers customized solutions to answer these needs along with technical support and capabilities to make implementation successful.” 

Corbion addresses challenges of staling, rancidity and mold with a combination of tools in addition to natural antioxidants. The company developed an enzyme solution to slow down starch retrogradation and limit amylopectin recrystallization. Corbion can pair this with its natural antioxidants and natural mold inhibitors for a comprehensive ingredient solution.

This article is an excerpt from the June 2023 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the entire feature on Antioxidants, click here.