Shelf-life analysis of vegan and gluten-free baked goods

June 04, 2024
Brownies stacked on top of each other

Cynthia Riddle (PI), Conestoga Food Research & Innovation Lab

Molly’s Market, a nutritionist-designed gluten-free and vegan bakery in King City, aimed to expand into new sales channels, including refrigerated storage. To support this expansion, they sought to understand the shelf-life of seven of their baked goods over a 12-week period under refrigerated conditions. The products of interest included a breakfast cookie, mojo bar, fudge brownie, chocolate chunk cookie, double chocolate cookie, peanut butter cups, and cookie dough energy balls. 

CFRIL assisted Molly’s Market by initially separating the products based on microbial risk, focusing on water activity levels. High and medium-risk items underwent bi-weekly microbial analysis, including aerobic plate count and yeast and mold testing. Low-risk items did not require regular microbial analysis due to their low risk of microbial growth. Throughout the study, measurements of water activity and sensory evaluations were conducted to provide comprehensive data on the shelf-life of the products. This detailed analysis helped Molly’s Market to ensure the quality and safety of their baked goods as they expanded into new refrigerated storage channels. 

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