The food industry is vast and caters to the needs of consumers and manufacturers.
Of particular interest to our discussion is baking. Tons of baked goods are produced every day with the shelf life being a major concern for bakers.
This is so because mold growth is quite common on all kinds of foods including baked goods.
In response to mold issues, inhibitors have been created to combat the mold problem. Now, there are two main types of inhibitors namely synthetic and natural inhibitors. The names alone tell a lot about what these are about.
Natural inhibitors are best suited for use in the food industry due to their safety.
Natural Mold Growth Inhibitors For Food
To understand how natural mold inhibitors work, you’ll need to look at what happens when used or applied.
A mold inhibitor can be defined as a preservative that helps extend the shelf life of the food it’s being applied to. The focus is on natural inhibitors as they tend to be safer for human consumption.
In terms of how they work, natural mold inhibitors function in two ways; the first has to do with pH reduction in dough while the section seeks to cause cell disruption.
Here, the cellular membranes of mold spores and cells are disrupted, hence preventing further development.
Chemical or synthetic mold inhibitors are often avoided in the food industry and for good reason. Because it has to do with food, it’s safer to use natural products that aren’t toxic.
Examples of synthetic mold inhibitors include parabens, propionates, sorbates, acetic acid, benzoates, etc.
Although synthetic mold inhibitors are also used in baked goods, we won’t be focusing on such. Baked good consumers feel safer knowing that natural preservatives are used.
Types of Natural Mold Inhibitors For Food
When it comes to natural mold inhibitors, there are two categories of these to consider.
They include cultured flour, vinegar, plum concentrate, whey, and raisin concentrate. The benefits of these natural mold inhibitors in food are seen in their ability to reduce the pH of dough they’re added to.
On the other hand, is another category of natural mold inhibitors.
These include natamycin, cinnamon, and cloves among several others. What they do is help with cellular membrane disruption of mold cells and spores.
As a result, mold growth on foods is effectively checked or prevented.
Additional natural mold inhibiting products used on foods include rosemary oil, honey, organic white distilled vinegar 200 grain, organic white distilled vinegar, and balsamic vinegar among many more.
Natural Mold Inhibitor Uses
For baking, natural mold inhibitors are widely applicable.
These are used in cakes, pastries, muffins, bread, and so on. Natural mold inhibitor uses extend beyond baking and can be used in processed meat products like lunch meats, hot dogs, and ham.
For dairy products, these natural mold inhibitors can be used on yogurt, cheeses, whey, and powdered milk, while for alcoholic drinks, they’re used in malt beverages, beers, cider, and wine.
Natural mold inhibitors are also used in beverages like fruit drinks as well as soft drinks.
Can Natural Mold Inhibitors Alter Taste?
With natural mold inhibitors, the aim is to extend the shelf life of foods.
However, there may be situations where questions are asked about the potential alteration of food taste. To provide the right answer, you’ll need to consider the recommended doses such products come with.
Depending on the type of natural mold inhibitor used, some may have certain tastes that could alter or interfere with those of your food. The best way to prevent that from happening is when they’re used in recommended doses.
Outside of this, there’s little you can do to prevent a change in the taste of your food or baked goods.
The Quality of your Natural Mold Inhibitor Product Matters
It’s important to ensure that mold inhibitors used are of the best quality.
There are lots of these products in the market. You’ll need to make careful research and only go with those considered the most effective in the preservation of food.
The Health Benefits are Key
One of the primary reasons for use of natural mold inhibitors is the non-toxic nature of these food preservatives. This isn’t to say that their synthetic counterparts are toxic in any way.
However, natural preservatives have a strong appeal to consumers.
Here, the use of simplified ingredients automatically draws label-conscious consumers to patronize such products due to the many conceived health benefits.
Increased Consumer Consciousness
Increased knowledge of the food industry has led to more complex consumer demands and preferences.
People are more interested in how their foods are being processed. This has led to changes in purchasing decisions hence the need to highlight the place of natural mold inhibitor uses in food preservation.
To the baker or other players within the food processing industry, the preference of natural mold inhibitors over synthetic mold inhibitors may not really be a strong point.
From the baker’s point of view, profit, sales, and turnover are primary.
The buyer or consumer on the other hand is more interested in what preservatives are used in the foods they consume.
The good thing is some regulations set minimum food safety standards which protect consumers while regulating food processing practices.
Effective Mold Control
There have been lots of successes in the food processing industry as a clear extension of shelf life for most products has been achieved. This has significantly limited and prevented food wastage.
Plus, certain preservatives such as the natural mold inhibitor varieties mentioned earlier achieve different mold inhibiting functions.
Other Ways to Prevent Mold in Food
Apart from the use of natural mold inhibitors, one of the primary ways to prevent mold from growing on food is through proper storage. Storage habits determine to a large part if food attracts mold growth or not.
Speaking of proper storage techniques, you may have to cover such foods to prevent exposure to mold spores as well as emptying opened food cans into clean storage containers.
So far, we’ve learned about natural mold inhibitors for food and how they work.
Baked goods have been focused on for the most part. Knowing these food preservation techniques helps you adopt the most reliable method.