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DuPont: Mold growth still a ‘major challenge’ for bakers

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By Kacey Culliney+

03-Sep-2014
Last updated on 04-Sep-2014 at 16:21 GMT

'While bakeries have a lot of concerns like everyone, two of their major ones are stale-free shelf life and mold-free shelf life,' says DuPont's bakery head
'While bakeries have a lot of concerns like everyone, two of their major ones are stale-free shelf life and mold-free shelf life,' says DuPont's bakery head

Ingredients major DuPont Nutrition & Health has developed an all-natural wheat starch that bakers can use to control mold growth – something that remains a hurdle for bakers, it says.

MicroGARD 910 can be used in a number of applications, including pan bread, tortillas, muffins, cakes and refrigerated doughs. The powdered wheat starch can keep baked goods mold-free for between 10-14 days - in line with synthetic products on the market - and is added in at the dry mixing stage.

The ingredient took around three years to develop and leveraged technology and process knowledge from a similar mold inhibitor - BHP 445 - launched in Europe two years ago.

Troy Boutte, group manager for bakery at DuPont Nutrition & Health, said mold growth remained a “major challenge for bakeries”.

“While bakeries have a lot of concerns like everyone, two of their major ones are stale-free shelf life and mold-free shelf life, and of course these two go hand-in-hand because you can’t keep it fresh - ie. prevent staling – without better mold inhibition,” he told BakeryandSnacks.com.

Although mold growth was more of a concern in hot and humid areas, Boutte said at some point throughout the year it was a problem for all bakery manufacturers.

“One thing is certain – consumers do not want to go back to shopping for bread every three or four days, but I think it’s unknown whether we’ve reached the limits on shelf life for bakery products. I would expect we’re going to see continued push towards extending shelf life, even longer than the shelf lives around now.”

Ingredients labeling: A shorter deck that makes sense

Matthew Hundt, global product manager at DuPont Nutrition & Health, said the wheat starch tapped into market trends.

“We can see from discussions we have with our customers and also what we can read on customers’ labels that there is a trend for ‘preservative-free’,” he said. It was a trend DuPont continued to see throughout the food sector, but also within the baking industry, he said.

The wheat starch enabled a shorter ingredient deck for manufacturers, he said, but also an improved flavor profile. “Calcium propionate, for example, has a flavor component – as ours does too – but as a fermented product, in some cases there’s more of a food flavor. Depending on the application and usage rates it can be a more ‘bready’ or natural flavor.”

Boutte said DuPont had chosen to work with a wheat-based ingredient for the bakery sector because it was in line with consumer expectations on labeling. People buying a dairy product, for example, really wanted to see dairy-based ingredients and the same applied for baked goods, he explained. 

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