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    • Profile PhotoMike
      Participant
      @maman
      Post count: 2

      I’d like to identify which additives and/or preservatives I should focus on in the manufacturing of simple dough mixture (flour, water, oil, salt) which contains <u>NO yeast</u> and intended for long-term freezer storage at retailer location, which will then be cooked by the customer as a flatbread. One version of the flatbread product is raw dough that is frozen, the other is parbaked and then frozen.

      Ensuring quality of product when thawed, and extending shelf life as long as possible through natural (preferred) or other means using preservatives is my focus. >12 months freezer shelf life would be ideal even though I am not even aware the industry shelf life of simple frozen dough. I have also taken consideration the positive benefits of ascorbic acid and limiting water as the Bakerpedia page for Frozen Dough advises. However, since I am not using any yeast and the product has no intended “rise” or will be consumed right away after cooking, I’d like to determine an adjusted focus criteria that can help improve the frozen storage time of my product.

      Any help will be greatly appreciated! 🙂

    • Profile PhotoMark Floerke
      Keymaster
      @independant-consultant
      Post count: 223

      Hello @maman,

      With shelf life the first thing we always need to ask ourselves is; what am I preserving or preventing?
      For a frozen item microbial growth will not be an issue, as bacteria microbes are not able to grow.  If you have more specifics on what you are targeting more beneficial help can be provided.

      If freezer burn is a concern, then there are some different options.  Freezer burn is primarily larger watercrytaals forming and evaporating in the freezer, or separating from the product when thawed.  One of the first defenses is ensuring the product is frozen very quickly.  Sometimes it is better to freeze, then pack, as the packaging can create an insulation barrier and slow down the heat extraction process of freezing.  Vacuum packing or modified atmosphere packaging is also helpful.  fat such as oils helps, and the more saturates, or solids in the fat, helps further.  Emulsifiers can also be beneficial, such as mono and diglycerides, or distilled monoglycerides.

      Personally I question long shelf life such as 12 months.  If I am not selling or using the product in a month or so, is the product really in demand?  That is my personal question.

      Ascorbic acid is added as an oxidizing agent for the gluten and fermentation.  If you are not fermenting, the ascorbic may help retain some gluten resilience through the freezing process.

      Are you freezing these as dough balls to be further processed, or ready to bake flat bread items?

    • Profile PhotoMike
      Participant
      @maman
      Post count: 2

      Appreciate your input Mark! Very enlightening!

      To answer your questions, 12 months was just an interim target as a lot of the intended ethnic grocery stores may not have the same supply chain as your big commercial chains. Fortunately I am not dealing with a manufacturing issue just yet (will be wholesale distributing this product next month), and was just looking for some tips on where I should focus so that I can maximize the benefits of my formulation.

      But yes, I am using a chamber vacuum sealer so good to know that quickly sealing and freezing the raw dough balls will help. Seems that preservatives may not be the best way since I am not selling a shelf stable product, however I wonder what standard “best by” date is for raw dough that doesn’t contain preservatives or yeast? Looks like 90-180 days seems to be the general timeframe.

      I will be incorporating the ascorbic acid as it may help with after thawing as you suggested, and will carry out some sensory tests with the family ?. I saw from one of Dr. Lins videos that AA doesn’t help with parbaked dough (my second product mentioned in this thread, so I will hold off on that.

      Love this forum!!

    • Profile PhotoMark Floerke
      Keymaster
      @independant-consultant
      Post count: 223

      Hello @maman,

      First; thank you very much for the feedback and kudos.  We sincerely appreciate it!

      There is no “standard” for best by dates on frozen dough, or any other products, for that matter.  The FDA is currently reviewing best by, best before, consume by, and expiry date practices.  In large part the concern is for excessive food waste contributed by arbitrary expiry date practices.

      To certify your best by date by BRC standards, you would need to provide sufficient fresh and frozen samples of the course of the targeted shelf life period, to an accredited laboratory with qualified sensory panel.  In brief they would test aged samples and fresh samples at intervals to determine if there are any differences.  If the panel detects differences, this will most commonly also be accompanied by standardized descriptors of what they agree on tasting.  Most trained panels are about 15-20 trained panelists, lead by a trained sensory scientist.  As you an imagine this is a significant investment.  For analysis over a 12 month shelf life, it might cost as much as $15,000.

      As your dough is not intended to be consumed raw, and has a baking kill step, any expiry date you put on it becomes about the integrity of the quality you stand behind.  It becomes your reputation.

      Although I understand your empathy with smaller retailers, even they will likely have at least monthly purchases through their distributors.  If they cannot sell the inventory in 1 month, either they are purchasing too many for the demand in their area, or the product is not of quality or interest to that community.

      Perception is the reality people live in these days.  I personally believe 90-180 days would be more than reasonable.  Some people might look at 1 year shelf life and believe you are hiding chemical preservatives that will poison them.  Complete unfounded exaggeration, yes, and it is in that sort of perception reality, and social media rabbit holes, that people put stock in these days.

      Ascorbic acid will help strengthen the gluten to improve results after the freezing process.  Again, cooperative testing, even over a brief freezing time period is beneficial for you to see the direct effect and ensure you are getting value from the addition.  More is not always better.

      in a par-baked product what you are looking for are emulsifiers and or modified starches, that will reduce or retard starch retrogradation, which is the staling effect.

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