Mold Prevention in Commercial Cookies

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Joined Aug 31, 2016
I have a client in my recipe development business who is looking for an expert opinion on a mold issue that he is having with his cookies when it is shipped or stored at high temperatures/hot weather. The only thing that I can suggest for his organic, non-gmo, gluten-free, Kosher, and vegan cookies in addition to what advice he already has received about water being the cause is the following:

Things that spoil or go rancid quickly contain oil such as whole grains (brown rice flour) and oils (palm), and moisture. Heat causes all of the above to spoil faster. Preservatives may be added to gluten free baked goods such as ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), vinegar, lemon, tomatoes, sugar, and salt.

He was told by someone else to remove the water. However, water seems like the only thing that dissolves organic sugar (it's very hard and large crystals). I've tried beating it for 15 minutes and it still doesn't break down in the oil. The cost of using lots of vanilla extract and such is too costly.

So, if you know of anything I can do please help.

Thanks so much!
 
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5,508
946
Joined Oct 10, 2005
My first thought is the following:

If this is your client, and you are charging for advice, what is my cut?

My second thought is that oils do indeed go rancid, but not moldy.  Here's a thought for you:

Water is life.

Mold is a form of life.

Countless nations and peoples have been using this fact for countless centuries.

Water can take on many forms.  Condensation is one form.

I guess I'm speaking in riddles, but again, it ain't my client, and I ain't getting paid.....
 
5,508
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Joined Oct 10, 2005
Oh, I forgot'

You can beat sugar as long and as fine as you want, it won't dissolve in oil. Neither will salt for that matter. Which is why both are known as "water soluable".    I was taught this in grade 9 chemistry. 

Do I win a prize?
 
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Joined Aug 31, 2016
This is not my field of expertise. I am not charging my client for your advice. I am sharing it freely. If you know how to fix this and you are not going to share it unless you get paid, you're on the wrong forum.
 
12
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Joined Aug 31, 2016
When I beat sugar and butter in a mixer, the sugar dissolves. Trying to get organic sugar to dissolve is like trying to break a sledge hammer in two! Any solution is helpful.
 
4,474
421
Joined Jun 27, 2012
I am wondering what sort of degree is required in order to obtain insurance for a recipe development company?

mimi
 
4,474
421
Joined Jun 27, 2012
I have a client in my recipe development business who is looking for an expert opinion on a mold issue that he is having with his cookies

Maybe I have gotten it backwards but when I have a business and a client I always get paid.

mimi
 
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Joined Aug 31, 2016
I will get paid to make the recipe when he finds out what needs to be corrected. Until then, I'm not making any money. He is willing to pay an expert. However, this forum is not a place to recruit anyone. It's against the rules to promote your business. So, I thought that people gave advice here. It looks I am mistaken.
 
5,508
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Joined Oct 10, 2005
Say what?

I'm not promoting "my business" here, you get the commission, you work for it.

Yes, sugar dissolves in butter when you cream it. But butter isn't 100% fat, is it? You got 18-20% water to account for. Do I win a prize for knowing the fat content of table butter? Do you?

Look, your client has mold issues, and yet you are talking about fats going rancid. Rancidity and mold are two very separate, distinct issues.

Here's another riddle, and one that deals directly with your problem.

From ship's biscuits to pemmican, from raisins to pasta, all of these foods have incredible shelf life, and have been used for centuries, from farmers to explorers, armies and navies.
What is their common link? Why do they keep so long?

Earn your commission!
 
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Joined Jun 27, 2012
Here is my free answer.....
All of my baked items are made from fresh wholesome ingredients such as cream and butter and fruits that are in season ( you get my drift) .
My customers understand that these treats are meant to be consumed fairly quickly in order to enjoy to the fullest.
If this is not possible I advise to wrap tightly and freeze for a short time.

An aside..... there is a brand of sprout bread I cannot live without....makes the best toast.
This bread is located in the organic freezer section where I shop.
I store it in my home freezer as well.

The point is ....tell him to freeze these cookies.
No added ingredients or chemicals necessary to retain max freshness.
No shame in that... in fact I would consider it a great marketing strategy.
No added preservatives.

mimi
 
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Joined Aug 31, 2016
I have no idea what ship's biscuits or pemmican are. Perhaps it is a cultural reference??? I am from the Untied States. Where do you live?
 

I understand that raisins make a great preservative due to their acidic content as well as sugar. However, I have no idea what pasta and raisins have in common.I can only guess the sugar from the starch in the pasta??? Is that correct? If so, do I win a prize? (just kidding)
 

I was using the vanilla extract to dissolve the sugar, but I can't use more than it already contains because of the cost. He wouldn't make a profit, I suppose. Powdered vanilla is already added which he had me reduce due to its cost. The sucrose from the powdered vanilla made such as a difference in the sweetness level to balance out the cocoa powder in one of the recipes. Now, I need to reduce the cocoa powder plus add additional sugar, but if I add any more sugar it will not dissolve without increasing the vanilla extract. It's a vicious cycle.
 
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@flipflopgirl Thanks! My client needs a 9-month shelf life in order to get it into a large store. The mold occurs at different times.
 
5,508
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Joined Oct 10, 2005
I have no idea what ship's biscuits or pemmican are. Perhaps it is a cultural reference??? I am from the Untied States.

 

Ummm... Pemmican IS N. American, about as american as you can get....

The point I'm making with all of the foods I mentioned is that they all have incredible shelf life, years actually. No refrigeration or fancy packaging.needed And yet all of these foods will never develop mold if stored in proper conditions

C'mon now, think! What does mold need in order to survive?

Remove that, and you have no mold issues. This is what countless cultures figured out literally thousands of years ago. Yours is not a unique problem, other bakers have dealt with it succesfully many, many years ago when ALL foods and ingredients were organic, and transportation took nine months.
 
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Joined Aug 31, 2016
Moisture causes mold. So, he wants to know if the small amount of water in extracts (vanilla and lemon) as well as a little lemon juice in one cookie will also cause mold, or removing the initial water (he had 10% of water in his former recipes) will do the trick. He literally needs to hear that from someone before we continue. 
 
12
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Joined Aug 31, 2016
@flipflopgirl Thanks! My client needs a 9 month shelf life in order to get it into a large store.
 
5,508
946
Joined Oct 10, 2005
Moisture causes mold. 

Yup. And like I said, butter has around 20% water, eggs have water content too. Hard to say where the moisture problem is withot looking at the formula, but it may not even be with the formulation,

What you need to do is follow your haccp procedure from mixing to packaging to transport to the store shelf, and look for potential moisture issues. Condensation is always one of the "usual suspects", but it could be many other things.

Of course, you do have a haccp procedure, right? You are supplying multiple retail outlets with a product that has a 9 mnth shelf life, most chains want a minimm of an iso 9002 rating for baked goods, you wouldn't need it if you went raw/frozen.
 
4,474
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Joined Jun 27, 2012
 
 He literally needs to hear that from someone before we continue. 
Take this question to a food chemist as I seriously doubt you are going to get an expert answer that you can bank on from someone on a public forum.

Like @foodpump  alluded to in his first post if anyone on Chef Talk has the type of cred needed to analyze the recipe and provide a solution (and stand behind the answer in a court of law) they will PM you to discuss a contract and financials.

mimi
 
982
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Joined Jun 23, 2015
 
When I beat sugar and butter in a mixer, the sugar dissolves. Trying to get organic sugar to dissolve is like trying to break a sledge hammer in two! Any solution is helpful.
Sugar is sugar.  Organic or not they are the same molecules. There are different types fructose, sucrose ... ect.  Cane sugar and organic cane sugar are the same and you should not see a difference except in the price.  Cane sugar and beet sugar are the same sugar.  Here is a refrence https://authoritynutrition.com/6-healthy-sugars-that-can-kill-you/.  
 

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