Bread that stays fresh for 2 weeks to hit shelves by year-end

BREAD that stays fresh for two weeks and is good for you because it contains a natural preservative could be on Irish shelves by the end of the year.

The revolutionary method of extending bread’s shelf life has been developed by food scientists at University College Cork (UCC).

The preservative has been patented and licensed to Puratos, a Belgium-based multinational food ingredients company that supplies baking and confectionery industries in more than 100 countries worldwide.

The shelf life of bread is only a few days before mould appears and, up to now, the challenge for bakers has been to extend this while reducing the amount of additives in bread products.

About 20% of all bread is thrown out due to shelf-life issues.

German scientist Prof Elke Arendt and her research team in the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences at UCC, had been looking for natural ways to improve the shelf life of cereal products for the past 10 years.

“About five years ago I discovered this strain of lactic acid bacteria that imparts this freshness in bread and stops it from becoming mouldy,” she said.

Prof Arendt discovered that incorporating a lactic acid bacteria strain in bread not only produces a fine crumb texture but also improves the flavour, volume and nutritional value of the food as well.

Lactic acid bacteria would be best known for its role in the production of yoghurt and cheese. However, the strain is tasteless when added as an ingredient instead of a live culture.

The college is now working on applying the strain to other foods, including dairy products, malt beer and animal feed.

The research was funded by the Department of Agriculture and Food as well as Enterprise Ireland’s Commercialisation Technology Development Fund.

UCC president Michael Murphy said the college was the first Irish university to develop a patient and licensing policy and continued to take the lead in developing the commercial potential of their research.

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

More in this Section

Maynooth seminary to review social media use by trainee priests

Irish boxing could have done more to keep me, says Billy Walsh

Campaigners call for end to direct provision after young mother dies at Cork centre

Pat Hickey's family hasn’t visited him in jail


Breaking Stories

150 Ebay job losses 'can be avoided', says FF's Breathnach

Shane Ross urged to intervene in eFlow tags row

Rescue teams continue 'intensive' search for man off Donegal coast

'Happy to have cooperated. Nothing to say, sorry': Irish Olympic executives say Pat Hickey led ticketing

Lifestyle

School days can be great, but a lot can depend on getting the right teachers

Ask Audrey has been sorting out Cork people for years

Food for thought on cutting costs of back-to-school

Teenage Fanclub: Not quite teenagers any more

More From The Irish Examiner