Optimizing Ingredients

How to Extend Shelf Life by 350%

Organic acids such as Sorbic Acid and Calcium Propionate prevent mold growth but work only in a limited pH range. Additionally, they can have a negative effect on yeast activity. Raw Sorbic Acid kills yeast. We here at Maxx have developed a line of microencapsulated preservation system made specifically for bakery products. This preservative system prevents preservatives from adversely affecting yeast activity during the fermentation process and allow slow release of the preservatives during baking so that they are available to extend shelf life of the bakery product. Raw Sorbic Acid and Calcium Propionate prevent yeast from performing to their optimum. Because of this, bakers end up with low volume bread.

The Maxx Performance Preservation System includes acids such as Fumaric, Citric, Malic, Acetic and Tartaric. These acids are used to lower the pH in bakery products facilitating the more effective use of preservatives. Preservatives that are being used in a bakery product that have a pH of 5.5 or higher will not result in the effective extension of shelf life. These finished bakery items may have a very short shelf life because less than 10% of preservatives will be functioning at that pH. In bakery systems with high pH, use of preservatives such as Sorbic Acid and Calcium Propionate may be completely ineffective. For optimal results the pH should be below 5.5 in order to have 50% of the preservatives functioning. In tortillas, with a pH greater than 6.0, the product may have a shelf life of 7 to 10 days even with the use of preservatives.

It was in such a situation that Maxx was called in to develop a solution to extend the shelf life of corn tortillas. This large corn tortilla manufacturer was getting at most 10 days shelf life and additionally, the tortillas were sticky. The tortillas were difficult to separate from each other resulting in significant product loss. They were using raw Fumaric Acid. Upon our recommendation they substituted slow release microencapsulated Fumaric Acid at a use rate of 0.5% based on flour weight. Tortillas produced with Maxx Performance slow release Fumaric Acid had a 45 days increase in shelf life compared to 10 days for tortillas produced with raw Fumaric Acid.


Additionally, there was no stickiness and the tortillas were able to separate easily compared to tortillas with raw Fumaric Acid. The manufacturer also noticed that tortillas produced with Maxx’s slow release Fumaric Acid had increased stack height and better volume. The reason for this is because coated slow release Fumaric Acid from Maxx increases the efficiency of the chemical leavening system resulting in more volume with less dough.

How does it work?

By slowly lowering the pH below 5.5, optimum microbial protection is obtained which prevents mold growth and contribute to increased shelf life of 35 days above control. The coated microencapsulated Fumaric Acid will not negatively affect dough development. Instead, the opposite is true. Coated, slow release Fumaric Acid and others protect dough development and workability. They relax the dough. Protected acids will not react with leavening system that contain baking powder during the mixing process to create. Hence the reason why there are fewer translucent spots in tortillas that use slow release microencapsulated acids. The bottom line is that use of Maxx Performance microencapsulated slow release Fumaric Acid extends the shelf life of tortillas by 35 days above tortillas produced with raw Fumaric Acid. Additionally, these tortillas do not stick together and therefore there is more saleable product.

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