|MadSci Network: General Biology|
Bakeries prevent molds on breads with four basic methods: dryness, cleanliness, mold inhibitors, and short time. Dryness: 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. Cleanliness: 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 air. Inhibitors: 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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