The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Natural Bread Preservative's picture

Natural Bread Preservative

I own a bakery that makes one specialized product. Everything we use is all natural, including some anti-staling/anti-molding clean label products. But we still find the overall shelf life is about 4-5 days. We are moving aggressively into large retail chains, and though our product is, for the most part, well received, we are still getting some complaints on the shelf life of the product. Is there anything out there that prolongs our shelf life without changing the taste/process of our product? I've used ascorbic acid, but it's very expensive, and doesn't seem to do a whole lot. I'm looking for something that could keep the product fresh for a week+....if there is suck a thing. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

AlanG's picture

appearing.  We've just turned warm and humid here in Maryland and I found a couple slices of three grain whole wheat developed mold spots after just four days at room temperature.  I have a bit of sourdough that was baked two weeks ago (and will be cut for croutons) that looks just fine.  The acidity of the sourdough is key here.  If you are making non-acid breads it's going to be an issue in terms of shelf life extension without some type of additive.

jschmitz1949's picture

In addition to being an avid homebaker, I conveniently also work in the allied baking industry - as an ingredient specialist.  Ascorbic is not typically viewed as a preservative for industrial baking.  It is an oxidizing agent and will contribute to dough strength and mixing, but not preservation.

There are many natural preservatives that I could steer you towards, but often times there are different choices for different types of breads.  Generally, what are your products like - white, wheat, multigrains, starter (if so, how long and how much).  Also, what size is your bakery and how big are you looking to be?  My guess is that you will need to find a distributor that carries these ingredients instead of purchasing directly from the manufacturers.  This can be the more difficult part because these ingredients are mostly sold direct to large bakeries (mostly because they're still newer and development is often ongoing as the large bakeries are helping companies work through tweaks in the product).  Some are available though, and they're pretty straightforward to use.  10 days is often simple to get, and it's not unheard of to get 18-21 days without mold.

Tiasola's picture

I am also looking for a consultant to increase the shelf  life of my breads that I sell to some restaurants. I live in the LA are. Would love your input on a good firm around my area if you know.

Bob S.'s picture
Bob S.

Lecithin and shortening will retard staling, especially when used in combination. Both are available in natural forms (sunflower lecithin and organic palm shortening). A shortening level of 3% in combination with 0.2% lecithin will extend shelf life.

Before the introduction of chemical anti-mold agents (such as potassium sorbate and calcium propionate) bread bakers used vinegar as an anti-mold ingredient. I don't know how much to use, though.


PetraR's picture

I am using 2 tbsp of sunflower oil per loaf I bake and my bread never gets moldy and tastes great for a week.

I am baking 950g loafs.

eliabel's picture

Using a water, in which potatoes were boiled, also acts as natural preservative. Bread will remain soft for more time.

pearlkanneth's picture


You can use a lot of synthetic preservatives in your bread.But always remember synthetic preservatives kills your customers. You can go to pure natural preservatives. you will get the natural one from here