Handling industrially produced baked products can expose them to pollutants in the air. Contamination of the surface of these products makes them vulnerable to the action of some types of mould, especially if they have high humidity levels.
Various methods can be used to prevent the growth of mould and to achieve a longer life for the product:
- Adding moistening agents in order to reduce water activity.
- Adding chemical preservatives and acids that inhibit mould growth, such as propionates and sorbates.
- Limiting the amount of oxygen in the container by performing the packaging in a modified atmosphere, or in an active container with oxygen scavengers or ethanol.
- Adding natamycin to the dough of the baked product (provided it does not contain yeast, because its action would kill it) or spraying natamycin on the surface of the baked product. Mixing natamycin with lactose is also useful in preserving baked products with a cream cheese filling, butter creams, and even glazed products.
However, adding natamycin has proven to be the most natural method because it can effectively replace chemical preservatives and can be sprayed onto the surface at any time without altering the appearance and taste. The product’s shelf life is also effectively extended.