Hurdle concept

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To achieve the microbiological stability of pre-packed baked goods by one measure alone, the specificity of this measure has to be very high. If the keeping quality of sliced bread is to be guaranteed by the use of sodium diacetate only, then a high quantity of addition is required. The result would be bread with an extremely sour taste which will not be accepted by the consumer.

As the use of one single measure can influence the sensory properties of baked goods very greatly, several measures are combined in practice to prevent the growth of micro-organisms. If the bread is also pasteurized after cutting and wrapping, a significantly lower amount of sodium diacetate can be used.

In illustration 17.5, an example of the use of a hurdle concept during the production of baked goods is shown. By the use of a sourdough or dough acidifying agent, the pH value of the baked goods is lowered and the aw value reduced via the content of sugar or the type of sugar respectively. Moreover, a preservative is used and the wrapped product ultimately pasteurized.