Preservation of Bread
Calcium acetate is an effective inhibitor of certain micro-organisms, including the rope forming BACILLUS types (mainly Bacillus Mesentericus). It is widely used in bread to prevent rope and thus extend the shelf life of the bread. Rope development in bread depends on the presence of Bacillus spores together with moisture and warmth for a sufficiently long period to allow germination of the spores into the active spoilage organism. The rate of spoilage is affected by many factors including the number and type of Bacillus spores, storage temperature and humidity and the recipe used. One very important factor in rope prevention is the efficient and rapid cooling of newly baked bread. The longer bread is kept warm after baking the greater the risk of rope formation if there are Bacillus spores present. Using a preservative such as calcium acetate helps to extend the rope free shelf life of the bread.
Method of Use
Since many factors affect the rate and incidence of rope formation in bread, the usage level of calcium acetate cannot be correlated exactly with the extension of the shelf life. In general, for standard bread recipes, a concentration of 0,2% – 0,4% calcium acetate based on flour mass is recommended. Although at this concentration a faint acetic acid (vinegar) odour may be noticed when the bread is still warm, this will rapidly disappear during cooling. Calcium acetate can be added with the other minor dry ingredients of the bread either at the start of dough mixing or in a premix.