Extending the shelf life of cookies

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Joined Feb 15, 2011
A friend and I are hoping to start a small cookie business and we are having trouble extending the shelf life of our products to two weeks.  We use no preservatives or margarine, and are nut-free.  We have tried several natural preservatives (e.g., citric acid), playing around with the recipe to increase/decrease the salt and/or butter, chilling the dough, and other techniques, but have had no luck.  The cookies last for only one week and then start to taste rancid/stale.  Any suggestion to increase the shelf life would be really appreciated. 

On a somewhat related note, is there such an occupation as a food engineer who works on these kind of issues?  If yes, how does one find a fairly inexpensive, yet reliable food engineer?

Many thanks,

N
 
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Joined Jan 31, 2011
You might try using salted butter. The salt is a natural preservative. Unsalted butter turns rancid faster than salted.

That said, why not make the cookies more often and use the notion of fresh, pure cookies to sell them? Seems to me that would be a selling point.
 
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Joined Oct 2, 2010
Naya, I'm no specialist in preserving cookies, but when I open a package of cookies to eat some and leave the rest in the package, they get all soft within a day or so. Since I put them in a tightly closed plastic container, they stay all fresh and crunchy... for many weeks!

So, I would guess the solution is in the (airtight) package or storage. We have a lot of famous cookie bakeries in my country, many using only natural stuff like butter. Even these cookies preserve well in a nicely closed plastic container, even the thinnest almond cookies from here; http://www.destrooper.com/  
 
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Joined Feb 15, 2011
Thanks Chris and Granny,

We have played around with the salt content, but it hasn't helped in extending the shelf life.  We will try salted butted to see if it makes a difference. 

We have been experimenting with the packaging Chris, but unfortunately we can never get it completely air tight.   Maybe we just need to put a disclaimer on the packaging to store in a airtight container once opened.

Any other suggestiong you two might have, would be greatly appreciated.  Many thanks for your help.

Cheers,

Naya
 
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Joined Oct 2, 2010
I think you don't even have to vacuum the packages, but indeed to seal them airtight. That's the way most commercial  cookie-packages are.

I believe main object is to prevent air and moist to get to the cookies.

How about googling for food package? You may find professional packaging specialist who will help you with suggestions. You may not be an immediate client for their high quantities solutions, but they always think you may become a client. And you will certainly not forget them if they help you out now.
 
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Joined Dec 18, 2010
I don't know if it applies, but a small cupcake baker recently announced her switch from brown cardboard boxes to plastic clamshells. She said the cardboard absorbed too much moisture and make the CCs go stale prematurely.
 
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Joined Nov 6, 2004
A friend and I are hoping to start a small cookie business and we are having trouble extending the shelf life of our products to two weeks.  We use no preservatives or margarine, and are nut-free.  We have tried several natural preservatives (e.g., citric acid), playing around with the recipe to increase/decrease the salt and/or butter, chilling the dough, and other techniques, but have had no luck.  The cookies last for only one week and then start to taste rancid/stale.  Any suggestion to increase the shelf life would be really appreciated. 

On a somewhat related note, is there such an occupation as a food engineer who works on these kind of issues?  If yes, how does one find a fairly inexpensive, yet reliable food engineer?

Many thanks,

N

   Hi Naya,

   I wonder about your business.  How big are you going to start off?  Do you have a storefront?  How many customers do you have?  Are your cookies any good?  Why should people buy your cookies over store bought, over homemade?

   I'll reserve my thoughts until I have a better understanding of what you have, and what you are trying to do.

   Good Luck,

   Dan
 
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Joined Apr 3, 2010
Since you said small cookie business this   is what I would do . When you make a batch Dont bake them all off, freeze the rest of dough or refrigerate. Bake more when you are running low.. After baking store in air tight containers. What are you adding that makes them rancid? Stale I cn understand but not rancid, unless all butter.
 
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Joined Dec 9, 2010
...why not make the cookies more often and use the notion of fresh, pure cookies to sell them? Seems to me that would be a selling point.

I agree and here's how I feel. When I want bread with long shelf life that can hang out in my pantry for a while, I'll buy pepperidge farms bread. But when I want good bread, I want it baked that day and I'll go to a local bakery for it.  Same for cookies, if i want cookies baked\ days ago, I'm buying pepperidge farms. When I want a non-brand name cookie i want it baked that day, preferable only a few hours ago.  Consider too, if it can stay on your shelf for up to 10 days, how long are people going to keep them on their own? Suppose people buy that cookie at day 9 for example, it goes old  before they've even eaten it, and now they perhaps think you just make a disgusting cookie... This was a big problem that I always faced in a deli I used to run. Deli meats have an average shelf-life of 1 week. but if they buy them on day 6 with the intention of that being a weeks worth of groceries, we have a huge problem.
 
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Joined Feb 5, 2012
Hi,

So I don't kmow if you ever got the correct answer because it seems from what was written you did'nt. Basically extending shelf life has to do with increasing the moisture content but not with water per se . You would do that be lowering the granulated sugar content and adding an invert sugar like a syrup.This holds the moisture content in for long periods.
 

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