Every year at the Institute for Food Technologists’ Expo, companies launch the latest and greatest in food ingredients, and a few of those get recognized with the IFT Expo Innovation Award. Winners exhibit innovation, technical advancements in food science, scientific merit and a benefit to food manufacturers and/or the consumer. Corbion Caravan’s Ultra Fresh Premium Advantage, one of the winners of the award this year, offers benefits to both the baker and the end consumer through extended shelf life.

Corbion Caravan, Lenexa, KS, already had some extended shelf life solutions in its ingredient portfolio, but the company thought it could do better.

“What makes this unique is that it does have the ability to revolutionize how bread manufacturers approach their business,” said Abby Ceule, director of market management for bread, Corbion Caravan. “If they can make product less often, reduce their waste through this blend and have product out there longer, that’s certainly something that can offer up quite the cost savings for them. We also have something for the consumer in that it offers up the highest quality and best texture in bread out there.”

The Corbion Caravan team wanted to create something that would not only reduce waste but also enable manufacturers to get in front of more customers through extended shelf life and possibly even distribute bread less often, which would save money. On the consumer side of the coin, the team wanted consumers to be able to finish a loaf of bread and still enjoy the same fresh quality and texture as when they first opened the bag. Enter Ultra Fresh Premium Advantage.

This blend of enzymes, developed over the course of two years, extends the shelf life of a loaf of commercial white or wheat bread by an extra seven days. While a typical loaf will last anywhere from 14 to 21 days, a loaf using Ultra Fresh Premium Advantage will last from 21 to 28 days while still delivering the same quality of softness, texture and taste as when the loaf was first purchased.

When Corbion Caravan was developing the enzyme blend, the team focused on hitting the right target of extra shelf life, so the company did some homework. The research team asked consumers how many extra days of shelf life they would accept for a loaf of bread that typically lasted 14 days and limited them to a few options. Seven days was the overall favorite.

The benefits of an extra seven days of freshness reverberate with less product stales on the shelf at the grocery store and less waste at the consumer level. With an extra seven days, a baker can make distribution more efficient or even expand it to a wider region. “There’s the flexibility of the enzyme blend to work for the specific operator’s needs,” Ms. Ceule said. “It’s not a one-trick pony. We have found that with customers we’re selling it to, each one is using it a little differently to fit its operations’ needs.”

With this pony, Corbion Caravan hopes bakers can ride into new horizons of business. For more information on Corbion Caravan’s extended shelf life products and other ingredient solutions, visit www.corbion.com.