As much as 30% of the industrial bread consumers buy ends up in the bin. A major reason is that they no longer perceive the bread as being fresh.
Although anti-staling solutions for industrial bread have been on the market for years, such statistics show there is still much room for improvement.
A particular issue is that, by the time bread reaches store shelves, the staling process is already underway. So, even if consumers purchase the bread the same day as it arrives at the store, the remaining fresh-keeping shelf life is limited. The likelihood that the consumer will throw part of the bread away is high.
The next-level freshness goal
In our own search for the next level of freshness at Nutrition & Biosciences, we are focusing on extending the fresh-keeping properties of bread in response to various market needs. This means working on shelf life expectancies ranging from four days to 40 days. In bread with a shelf life longer than seven days, the main hurdle is still microbiological.
For us, it is important to be able to develop solutions for specific bread applications, such as toast, sandwich and whole wheat bread. The most common preference is for solutions that combine a long-lasting soft, moist feel with good resilience, so the bread springs quickly back into shape on squeezing.
Recently, we compared one of our enzyme solutions with the market standard in a formulation for toast bread. If you look at the graph below, you can see that the freshness-extending effect of our solution can be further improved by emulsifier addition – in this case, securing optimum freshness 15 days after baking.
A sensory evaluation by a trained panel gave similar sensory scores to the toast bread at day 8 and day 15 after baking.
In our labs, we continue to pursue our goal to satisfy all market expectations for bread freshness – and give consumers more reason to eat every last crumb. Reducing today’s massive bread waste is a great motivator.