A breakthrough method to increase the shelf-life of bread by up to 14 days has been licensed to food ingredients company Puratos.


Food scientists at University College Cork (UCC) developed the method, which has now been patented, using lactic acid bacteria. Puratos, which supplies the baking and confectionery industry worldwide, will upscale the scientists’ work to industrial level, before bringing it to market.

Professor Elke Arendt and her research team in the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences have been working on improving the shelf-life of cereal products, by natural means, for the last 10 years, and had particular success using lactic acid bacteria in bread products.

The research revealed that “the incorporation of strains of lactic acid bacteria in bread not only improved the shelf-life of the product but had other benefits as well”. Its use produced a finer crumb texture and flavour, volume and nutritional value were also improved.

“Sourdough is known for its excellent taste and traditionally extends shelf-life,” commented Filip Arnaut, R&D director at Puratos. “Based on UCC’s new technology we will bring this to the next level. The new sourdough will have all the benefits of traditional sourdough and, in addition, extend the shelf-life of baked products, which is what our customers want today.”