Sustainable Food Packaging using Alcohol Preservation

In the world of preserving bakery products and sustainable food packaging, a commonly adopted technique involves adding a small amount of drinkable alcohol to the products before they’re packed. But you might be thinking, why? Let’s explore the reasons behind using alcohol to maintain the quality of our everyday baked goods.

Contrary to popular belief, various sectors, including the food industry, actively use drinkable alcohol, also termed ethanol, as a natural substance. Ethanol has a distinct aroma and clear look. It’s volatile and highly combustible, highlighting the need for care when managing it.

How using Alcohol  Contributes to Sustainability 

The application of alcohol for preservation typically reduces the necessity for chemical additives and artificial preservatives. Chemical preservatives can have adverse effects on both the environment and human health. Opting for alcohol preservation lessens reliance on such additives, aligning with sustainable and clean-label practices.

When food products have an extended shelf life due to alcohol preservation, there is less urgency to over-package items. Sustainable packaging aims to minimize excess packaging materials. When products last longer, companies can streamline and optimize packaging, thereby lessening waste and reducing the overall environmental footprint

Ethanol is a natural substances derived from renewable sources like grains and sugarcane. It is biodegradable and does not contribute to long-term environmental pollution.

sustainable food

The main characteristics of ethanol

  • Exceptional Solvent Qualities
  • Hygienic Properties
  • Cleaning Capabilities
  • Preservative Characteristics

Key Benefits of Using Drinkable Alcohol in the Food Industry

Drinkable alcohol comes from the fermentation of sugars, making it completely natural. Ethanol is classed as a natural preservative, along with  sugar, salt, oil, and vinegar. This makes it ideal for sustainable food packaging

Thanks to its natural antifungal attributes, ethanol is a powerful agent in preserving food.  In the baking sector,  it’s used on non-dried items such as bread, rolls, and snacks.

High humidity levels inside packaging provide the perfect conditions for mould and mildew to thrive. To ensure the maintained quality of a product until it’s in the hands of the customer, a certain amount of drinkable alcohol is included.

baked goods alcohol

Regulations and Laws Regarding Alcohol Use in the Food Industry

Major bread and similar product producers incorporate this process into their daily production routines. However, concerns arise about the safety of the quantity of alcohol contained within the packaging.

Numerous legislations govern the use of potable alcohol, particularly in the food industry. The bakery market caps the maximum allowable quantity at 2% of the product’s weight, and product labelling must indicate this information.

These regulations ensure that products preserved with potable alcohol are entirely safe for consumption. This natural substance reduces dependence on chemical preservatives.




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