Optimizing Ingredients

The Makings of a Tastier Tortilla With Slow-Release Sorbic Acid

A tortilla manufacturer wanted to know how Maxx could successfully replace the raw Potassium Sorbate in his process with encapsulated slow-release Sorbic Acid. After all, Sorbic Acid is highly effective in extending shelf life without affecting yeast activity, but is only slightly soluble in water; given that tortillas requires very short mixing times, this could pose a real challenge.

We formulated:

  • Solubility: The solubility of Potassium Sorbate is 58% at 86 degrees fahrenheit, whereas the solubility of Sorbic Acid is only 0.25% at the same temperature.
  • Replacement ratio: Potassium Sorbate contains 74% active material to the 70% of our encapsulated Sorbic Aid product. To replace one pound of Potassium Sorbate, the tortilla maker would need to use 1.057 pounds of encapsulated Sorbic Acid (essentially, a 1:1 ratio), based on the molecular weight difference between the two.
  • Shelf-life: Unlike Potassium Sorbate, encapsulated Sorbic Acid will not interfere with yeast—representing a far more effective way to extend shelf life while preserving enzymatic activity.
  • Color: Potassium Sorbate turns yellow as the product is heated, while Sorbic Acid delivers a fresh-looking tortilla from package to plate.

In the end, the manufacturer used our slow-release Sorbic Acid as part of an overall preservation strategy and was able to produce tortillas with better texture and longer shelf life, while maintaining the white flour look and feel his customers preferred.

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