shelf-life calculating in cake

11 October 2022
Cake and calculating shelf-life | Bakery Academy


For calculating the shelf life in cake. We as a baker could learn a lot from an ice maker… In ice the freezing point depression is being used to make ice more stable, soft and prevent harder crystals being there. They use a technique in which they express ingredients. They use in relation to the same effect sugar has in water towards freezing point depression. With this same technique we can look at bakery ingredients; if we can determine (either empirical or by chemistry calculations) their effect, their use in our formulations we can try to predict the Equilibrium of Relative Humidity in our Cake, also known as ERH or Aw (wateractivity). There used to be software in the market for this, called ERH-Calc.

If the wateractivity is known and the pH there is some empirical data available what would be the expected shelf life in certain storage conditions. When adding then preservatives and special packaging mould free shelf life can be extended massively compared to without: Products that would last days can be brought to several weeks by just this.

When combing the knowledge and balancing the formulations the shelf life can be extended by lowering Aw, pH with some addititives and packaging. Of course this will always have a trade-off in taste and texture compared to the soft and tender foam or pound cake we started off with..

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