Do you know how important is the role of preservatives in the baking industry?

Are you having doubts about using bread preservatives for your baking creations?

Do you wish to extend the life of your baking products and prevent food waste?

This article will help you get informed about the purpose of natural and artificial food preservatives in the food industry. It will also explain how different ways of preservation will help you with food sustainability.

In addition, you will learn more about the effect food additives have on health.

What Is the Role of Preservatives in the Baking Industry?

We use food preservatives to make sure the food we consume on an everyday basis is safe and of good quality. Moreover, additives also affect the way our food tastes.

The role of preservatives in baking is multiple. Yet its prime goal is to keep the baking products fresh for more than just a couple of days. 

What Types of Food Preservatives Are There?

Ingredients for Cooking on Wooden Kitchen Table, Baking Recipe for Pastry.

It is widely known that preservation is an ancient practice. Long before any technological advances, people used salt and sugar to prevent the early spoilage of their food.

Today, we use additives, sweeteners, and various ways of preservation to enhance the overall quality of our food and maximize the yield of the product. 

There are two types of preservatives used in the food industry. Both are responsible for making all food products fresh, tasty, and shelf-stable.

–    Artificial food preservatives in baking are used to make the products withstand storage. These types of additives also help commercial manufacturers keep the quality and texture of baking products during transportation. Here are the regular sorts of chemical food preservatives we use today:

  1. Antioxidants – prevent discoloration and retard the oxidation in oils and fats
  2. Antimicrobials – keep the mold growth under control
  3. Chelating Agents – help in preventing oxidation in oils and fats, which causes rancidity

–    Natural food preservatives slow down the growth of bacteria and mold. They also restrain color and structure changes that occur over time. Natural food additives can also be antioxidants and antimicrobials, same as artificial ones. The most commonly used natural food preservatives are:

  1. Vitamin C
  2. Vinegar
  3. Salt
  4. Sugar
  5. Olive Oil
  6. Spices

Reasons for Adding Preservatives to Baking Goods

Next to the main goal of using food preservatives that we have already mentioned, there are more reasons for their unavoidable presence in our nutrition. 

Artificial food preservatives are crucial for keeping our food safe. The biggest worry with food spoilage is chemical and microbiological contamination. Eating contaminated food products leads to critical illnesses. Additives control microbes responsible for the contamination of baking products. 

The soft and yeasty crumb in bread is an ideal breeding ground for fungus and bacteria. Because of this, besides flour, sugar, and water, we use bread preservatives in almost every baking formulation. 

Another role of preservatives in our food is to keep its moisture and texture. 

Antioxidants prevent discoloration and stabilize fats and oils.

How do Bread Preservatives work?

Adding artificial food preservatives improves the chemical structure of the dough. More precisely, bread preservatives support starch molecules in flour. 

These molecules affect the structure and the softness of the baking creations. When the starch molecules get weak, the baking products are prone to drying and decomposing. Furthermore, the weakening of starch molecules is the main reason for flavor loss. 

Bread preservatives are used for making pastries and muffins as well as bread.

The most common way of bread preservation is the usage of food additives:

– Calcium Propionate is very effective against mold. It creates an unpleasant smell and unpalatable flavors if the used amount is excessive.

– Potassium Sorbate can be added to baked products, besides pie fillings and icings. This preservative is four times more effective than Calcium Propionate in fighting off bacteria and mold. 

– Sodium Benzoate slows down the fermentation rate and yeast activity. You can add it in jams and fruits too.

What Causes the Food to Go Bad Quickly? 

To understand the purpose and the role of preservatives, we wanted to explain the main reasons that cause food to spoil faster. Two factors affect all food in general:

  1. Microbes

Microbes that grow in our food are yeast, fungi, and bacteria. The way they cause our food to spoil is by feeding off the foods’ nutrients. 

The problem with microbes is that if we consume the food infected with mentioned undesirable microorganisms, our health can be seriously endangered. 

If consumed by people, bacteria like botulism or listeria can lead to urgent health conditions.

Without preservatives, these microbes inevitably attack baking products, making them inedible and dangerous to consume.  

  1. Oxidation

This chemical reaction turns fats rancid and affects the food discoloration. Rancidity is recognizable by the unpleasant smell and flavor of food products.  

Fruits and vegetables are more prone to oxidation than other foods. 

Are Artificial Food Preservatives in Baking Goods Bad for Your Health?

On the report of the U.S. FDA, chemical preservation techniques we are using today are safe for our health. Nevertheless, The U.S. Food and Drug authorities responsible for food safety are constantly working with food regulatory agencies to improve their knowledge and gain more information on this subject. 

Food preservations approved for use are listed in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations. 

Besides being listed, additives are also marked as GRAS – generally recognized as safe. 

The amount of additive used in every product is allowed and is not harmful to consume. 

All preservatives that food products contain must be included on the ingredient list on the food label. Having this in mind, you can control the amount of chemical additives in your nutrition. 

Other Ways of Preserving Food

 Hands Preparing Dough on Wooden Table.

The physical way of preserving food has been around since the distant past. Salting, smoking, and drying protected food safety and quality.

Nowadays, we use chemical preservation.

Aside from adding food additives, there are other ways of ensuring the shelf-life and the quality of baking products. With patient packing and storing, you can increase food lifespan.

  1. Freezing the baking goods wouldn’t affect the flavor or the freshness
  2. Using vacuum sealing bags and containers for storing will prevent air making the food dry and hard
  3. Adding ginger powder or cinnamon to your recipe will lengthen the shelf-life and improve the taste
  4. Storing the baking products in dark and dry places will slow down the spoilage
  5. Using salted butter is going to prolong the foods’ shelf-stability

Where to Get Preservatives?

To be sure you are using food additives that are safe for consumption, purchase from trusted suppliers. They will equip you with premium quality products and inform you of any uncertainties. 

Medina Baking and Powder Products have been in the business for over 40 years. We are more than happy to provide you with excellent service and all the supplies you need.

Before deciding, we also suggest reading the label with listed ingredients and following the recommended amounts of additives the recipe calls for.

Get in Touch

Call or email us today, and in no time, we will supply you with all the necessities your baking journey requires.