As we progress into the age of heightened consumer awareness, it should be expected that the use of hazardous and toxic chemicals for disinfectant purposes and artificial shelf-life enhancers will soon become obsolete, short-sighted and old fashioned, says Radical Waters technical director, Robin Kirkpatrick. “Given the amount of ongoing research that is publicised, this further fuels the notion that continuous use of such toxins and additives within foods and their direct processing environments are ultimately harmful to consumer health.” But, he adds, bakers and food suppliers have fast become mindful of this fact and are actively seeking solutions to complement this inevitability.
What’s the answer?
Electrochemically Activated Water (ECA) removes the negative and hazardous legacies surrounding chemicals to which bakers, processors and food suppliers have become resigned, states Kirkpatrick. “This innovative ground-breaking technology is revolutionising attitudes and sanitation applications across the industry where the elimination and constant control of microbial contamination is vital for food safety and shelf-life.” In delivering proven natural sanitation solutions, Radical Chemicals and food improvers – a thing of the past for bakers? Waters integrated food-grade ECA solutions have been shown to improve dough and pastry quality as well as extend the shelf-life of baked goods when included as an ingredient by replacing part of the water added to bake mixes, he says. “ECA has been shown to raise the water activity in bread dough, ensuring a more efficient hydration of the gluten. This inclusion aids in the rate of dough formation in bread-type products and results in reduced ingredients and a more consistent end product.” He says a common oversight within processing environments is that all too often processors are unaware of the underlying contaminant factors within their plants. “To optimise shelf-life, one must focus on attending to the cause as opposed to suppressing the effects. In saying this, integration of ECA into the baking environment should be recognized for its pre-bake effects rather than the removal of contamination problems after the baking processes. The natural disinfection properties of ECA, when used throughout the plant, reduces levels of spoilage organisms and minimises the presence of human pathogens, which can easily be introduced through human contact when forming or working with ingredients.” Kirkpatrick says essentially ECA places the control of quality back into the hands of the baker.