Extending shelf life to minimise waste.

Shelf life refers to the duration food retains its preferred quality and functionality when stored under designated conditions. This period is greatly influenced by factors such as the nature of the food, packaging, temperature, and exposure to light, to name a few. Suppose products spoil or degrade before consumers can use them, in that case, it results in financial losses, wasted resources, and a tarnished brand image – with that, shelf life is crucial because it impacts the manufacturers’ profitability, reputation, and customer satisfaction.
There are advanced preservation and protection methods designed to reduce food waste that can help extend shelf life, ultimately saving manufacturers money. Preservatives are natural or artificial substances added to various products to prevent early decay and are commonly found in a wide range of foods and cosmetics. These preservatives are integrated into the modern food industry to keep the food product safe to consume for an extended period and to maintain its quality in terms of taste and odour.
The most common and effective artificial preservatives are:
  • Calcium Propionate plays a vital role in preserving the freshness of baked goods by thwarting the growth of mould and bacteria, which would otherwise lead to spoilage. Additionally, it occurs naturally in butter and certain varieties of cheese.
  • Natamycin is primarily used in dairy products, meat products, and other foods to inhibit mould growth and prevent food spoilage, ensuring the food remains fresh and safe.
  • Sodium Benzoate finds extensive application in acidic foods like salad dressings, carbonated beverages, jams, fruit juices, pickles, and condiments.
  • Potassium Sorbate, known for its high safety profile, is extensively employed in jams, pastries, alcoholic beverages, cheese, and various other food products. It serves as an effective inhibitor of microbial growth in food.
  • Sodium Metabisulphite is the commercially produced salt of sulphurous acid. It is widely used to preserve meat products such as fresh sausages and burgers.
  • Sodium Sulphite is primarily used as an antioxidant to prevent dried fruit from discolouring and used to preserve dried vegetables and cordials.
These ingredients function as antimicrobials, antioxidants, or both. They work by either inhibiting or eliminating bacteria, moulds, and other microorganisms, preventing the growth of moulds, yeasts, and bacteria, preventing foods from becoming rancid or developing black spots. Additionally, they help prevent the loss of some essential amino acids and vitamins.
Bragan Ingredients has a range of preservatives available to keep your products fresh for a long period. Contact us at enquries@braganingredients.co.za
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