MadSci Network: General Biology

Re: How do people deal with bread molds in bakery's?

Date: Thu Dec 9 13:35:52 1999
Posted By: Carl Custer, Staff, Office Public Health & Science, Scientific Research Oversight Staff , USDA FSIS OPHS
Area of science: General Biology
ID: 942707767.Gb

Bakeries prevent molds on breads with four basic methods: dryness, 
cleanliness, mold inhibitors, and short time.
Many bread crusts are dry enough on the surface to prevent mold growth.  
Thus, most mold growth is on the cut surfaces of sliced bread.  Crisp 
goods, such as crackers are immune to molds because most of the water has 
been baked away. 
It's difficult to prevent all mold spores from entering a bakery, but the 
baker can lower the number of air borne spores through general cleanliness. 
 Also, some bakeries require ingredients such as spices and flour to be 
mold free.  Some that have air filters that remove mold spores from the 
Some bakeries use mold inhibitors.  Salts of propionic acid or sorbic acid; 
e.g. calcium propionate, sodium propionate, and potassium sorbate are 
popular.  These are naturally occurring substances extracted from 
fermentations or plant materials.  Propionic acid is what gives Swiss or 
Emmenthaler cheese that special flavor.  
see: http://www.cspinet.or
g/reports/chemcuisine.htm or  http://www.foodincanada
.com/food/search.html for more information

Short Time:
This and dryness are probably the oldest solutions to mold growth on bread. 
 Most molds require about 5 days to become visible.  If the bread has been 
eaten, mold is not a problem. 

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