Preservation of Bread
Calcium propionate is an effective inhibitor of certain moulds and some bacteria. It is widely used in bread to prevent mould and to inhibit the development of Bacillus Mesentericus which causes rope. Baking kills moulds but atmospherically borne mould spores can be picked up after baking. Strict baking hygiene can reduce the incidence of spores but cannot eliminate them totally. Using a preservative thus helps extend the mould-free shelf life of the product. The rate of mould development on bread is affected by many factors including the number and type of spores, storage temperature and humidity and the recipe used. Wrapped, sliced bread is very susceptible to mould.
Method of Use
Since many factors affect the rate of mould growth on bread, the usage level of calcium propionate 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 propionate based on flour mass is recommended. Although at this concentration a propionic acid odour may be noticed when the bread is still hot, this will rapidly disappear during cooling. Calcium propionate can be added along with the other minor dry ingredients of the bread either at the start of dough mixing or in a premix.