How the cookie doesn’t crumble: Biobake promises to improve shelf-life and reduce food waste in bakery snacks

By Deniz Ataman

- Last updated on GMT

Image source: Getty/serts
Image source: Getty/serts

Related tags Bakery Snacks Food waste

While traditional amylase-based enzymes have helped bakery snacks improve shelf-life and freshness, its efficacy is limited if the dough contains high amounts of sugar. Kerry’s anti-staling enzyme, Biobake Fresh Rich addresses freshness and moisture for doughs containing more than 20% sugar, while reducing food waste by improving shelf life for bakery snacks.

Citing Kerry’s sensory trials on the shelf life of sponge cake, Deborah Waters, product director for enzymes, Kerry Group, explained to FoodNavigator-USA that as an “anti-staling, fresh-keeping enzyme,” Biobake enhances sensory properties in sweet baked goods while elongating shelf life.

As consumers continue blurring the lines between snacks and meals, the demand for fresher, longer-lasting bakery snacks will continue to grow. At the same time, inflation-driven food prices are pushing consumers to seek products that meet their needs for value and quality, while making fewer trips to the grocery store to save money and prevent food waste.  

Baked goods are the largest category of food waste globally, Waters emphasized. Biobake’s properties will help extend shelf life, thereby improving brands’ sustainability initiatives and address consumers’ concerns over environmental sustainability. Based on data from World Food Programme, approximately 33% of food globally is wasted or lost, underscoring the need for critical change along the supply chain.

“Corporate social responsibility is high on consumers’ radars, and there is an increasing desire to direct their purchasing in ways that have meaning beyond a mere transaction. Sweet bakery brands in North America have responded to growing consumer engagement with ethical concerns by highlighting sustainability and humanitarian initiatives,” according to a Mintel’s A Year of Innovation in the Cakes, Pastries and Sweet Good Market 2023 report​.

Further, reducing food waste through shelf-life extension was a topic of great interest to consumers according to Kerry’s Left on the Shelf global food waste study​. The study found that 97% of North American consumers said they are actively trying to reduce food waste and 72% believe that improving shelf life will help minimize food waste; while a third of consumers are willing to switch over to products that have a longer shelf life.

“Maintaining product quality over longer shelf life can contribute to a more sustainable future by reducing the likelihood of the bakery product waste ... Freshness in baked goods is therefore a crucial topic to address – as we already know, the proportion of food waste generated by the bakery industry alone negatively impacts the planet and incurs significant economic loss for both manufacturers and consumers,” Waters elaborated.

Biobake shines in most high sugar formulations except for gluten-free

Biobake is ideal for high sugar formulations, like muffins, sponge cakes, cupcakes, pound cakes, high ratio cakes, brioche, enriched bread, pancakes and scones; as well as vegan bakery snacks, but not gluten-free.

The bakery industry has used enzymes to slow down the staling process; however with doughs containing high sugar levels, these amylase-based enzymes are ineffective. Biobake works with bakery snacks that contain more than 20% sugar, addressing this formulation gap by delaying the staling process of starch, Waters said.

“The typical process of staling in bakery occurs because starch undergoes retrogradation and subsequent moisture loss over the course of its shelf life, which leads to dryness, crumbliness and staling … A high sucrose dough environment can be inhibitory for some amylase-based enzymes traditionally used for fresh-keeping in enriched dough. This means that a higher rate is needed to optimize the relative activity required for performance,” she elaborated.

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