1 Dec 2012

Technique to keep bread mould-free

12:08 pm on 1 December 2012

A company in the United States has developed a technique that can make bread stay mould-free for 60 days.

The bread is zapped in a sophisticated microwave which kills the spores that cause the problem.

Microzap claims it would significantly reduce the amount of wasted bread.

The technique can also be used with a wide range of foods including fresh turkey and many fruits and vegetables.

The BBC reports that figures issued earlier this year suggest that the average American family throws away 40% of the food they purchase.

In Britain, 32% of loaves are thrown out as waste when they could be eaten, according to figures from the Department for Environment, Food Rural Affairs.

One of the biggest threats to bread is mould. As loaves are usually wrapped in plastic, any water in the bread that evaporates from within is trapped and makes the surface moist.

This provides excellent growing conditions for Rhizopus stolonifer, the fungus that leads to mould.

In normal conditions, bread will go mouldy in around 10 days.

A BBC correspondent reports there is a concern that consumers might not take to bread that lasts for so long.

Microzap chief executive Don Stull acknowledged it might be difficult to convince some people of the benefits.

"We'll have to get some consumer acceptance of that," he said. "Most people do it by feel and if you still have that quality feel they probably will accept it. "