A double-wall packaging system that prolongs the shelf-life of part-baked bread and reduces the quantity of additives required for its preservation has been awarded patents in the UK and France.

The system seals a layer of modified gas around the bread, but the gas does not come into contact with the contents. Taste and quality are both said to be safeguarded.

Initially the bread is wrapped with a biodegradable micro-perforated film before being placed into a larger bag. The gas system is then injected, stabilising humidity and preventing moisture from affecting bread quality.

According to the system’s inventor, Joel Gourlain, it is suitable for French breads, croissants and paninis. He hopes it will be introduced in 2007.