SHELF-LIFE OF BAKED GOODS
Baked goods containing oils and/or fats naturally deteriorate through time after their production date. This alteration is part of those processes which cannot be completely stopped, but only delayed through appropriate prevention and arrangements.
One of the deteriorating causes is given by the increase of peroxides caused by oxidation. This parameter correlates the product to the final sensory acceptability of the consumer.
Shelf-life represents the period of time during which, under normal storage and utilization conditions, the products keeps its quality characteristics, therefore ensuring a safety utilization and a sensorial acceptability of the consumer towards the product.
In the Shelf-life Modeling of Bakery Products by Using Oxidation Indices (Sonia Callegaris et al. 2006) studies, the relationship between the peroxide levels and the acceptability of the product is highlighted as a reliable correlation to determine the shelf-life of a food product. A sensorial acceptability of 50% of the participants involved in the panel represents the maximum admissible limit for the shelf-life estimation of a product. The study, involving a group of 70 panelists, determined that such tolerability is linkable to peroxide levels of 15.6 meq. O2/Kg. Furthermore, the study demonstrates how the increase in peroxides is directly correlated to storage temperatures, and how a temperature above 20°C generates a boost in the peroxide formations (Fig. 2).
The following table shows the acceptability limits (refusal from 50% of the panelists) of the analyzed product (Tab. 6).
From this study it can be deduced that the product’s exposure to a temperature above 20°C, both in the logistic and the storing phases of baked goods, provokes a rapid boost of the peroxide levels which can dramatically reduce the product’s shelf-life, negatively affecting the producing companies.