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Food Addit Contam. 2002 Mar;19(3):314-22.

Shelf life extension of pre-baked buns by an ACTIVE PACKAGING ethanol emitter.

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Inspectorate for Health Protection and Veterinary Public Health, Groningen, The Netherlands.


The paper reports the influence of an ethanol emitter (Ethicap) on the microbiological condition and the shelf life extension of a bakery product. Pre-baked buns, with a water activity of 0.95, were packaged with different amounts of Ethicap and stored at room temperature. Yeasts and moulds remained largely absent from the core of the pre-baked bun (< 10(2) cfu g(-1)) during storage, independent of the presence of ethanol. The total mesophilic count was low at the beginning of the storage experiment (< 10(2) cfu g(-1)), but increased without ethanol within 1 week to an unacceptable level. In the presence of ethanol, the total mesophilic count stabilizes at a consumable level of 10(5)-10(6) cfu g(-1). The increase of total mesophilic count was caused by growth of a Bacillus spp., probably B. subtilis. Mould growth on the outer surface is limiting for shelf life extension. On the pre-baked buns, the following moulds were present: Penicillium solitum, P. commune, P. corylophilum, Cladosporium sphaerospermum and C. herbarum. These started to grow within 4-6 days. Mould growth can be delayed for 13 days by adding Ethicap. The ethanol probably has to be absorbed by the pre-baked bun to be effective in growth suppression of the Bacillus spp. the moulds. The pre-baked buns absorb most of the ethanol from the package headspace, and the ethanol content of the products is approximately 0.8 weight% after 21 days. This largely exceeds the overall migration limit of 60 mg kg(-1) food (0.006 weight%).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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