Keeping Natural Crackers Fresh
The global savory snacks market is expanding1, giving consumers more healthy cracker options than ever. While adding whole grains and seed oils to an ingredient list may attract health-conscious snackers, it may also decrease the product’s shelf life. Join us as we explore the latest healthy cracker craze and some natural preservative ingredients that can keep these salty snacks fresh without the chemicals.
About the Healthy Cracker Craze
The global pandemic forced people to spend more time at home, making snacking more convenient throughout the day. Cooking and dining at home became the norm, and there was a global shift towards eating healthier meals packed with superfoods and immune-boosting ingredients. The desire for healthy treats drove many large snack companies to introduce wholegrain crackers that include entire plant kernels high in naturally-occurring fats that may go stale in storage.
What Causes Crackers to Go Bad?
Fats and oils in crackers can go rancid over time, causing a stale smell and taste. Oxidative rancidity occurs when oxygen breaks down oils in the food into small chemical compounds known as fatty acids. Heat and UV-light speed up the chemical reaction, and packaging and storing crackers in air-tight, opaque containers help prevent premature lipid oxidation.
Adding anti-oxidants to food can also prevent or slow the rate of rancidity, and there are many plant-based anti-oxidative ingredients you can use as a natural cracker preservative.
6 Natural Ingredients That Keep Crackers Fresh
- Rosemary extract
Many scientific studies support rosemary as a natural preservative for meat, fish, and other fatty foods. Rosemary contains rosmarinic acid and carnosic acid, inhibiting the free-radical chemical reaction that causes fats and oils to oxidize. Rosemary extract may be a viable natural alternative for chemical preservatives, such as butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT).
- Green tea extract
Green tea contains tannins and polyphenols, such as catechin and chlorogenic acid, that studies have found to prevent bacterial growth in food. The phenolic compounds in natural green tea extract also have anti-oxidative properties that may prevent fats from spoiling.
- Acerola cherry extract
Acerola cherries are rich in antioxidants that may delay lipid oxidation in crackers. They are also a source of ascorbic acid (vitamin C), a natural oxygen scavenger that absorbs oxygen from the air, helping to preserve the food and prevent discoloration.
Prunes and raisins have antimicrobial properties tested on various foods and can help prevent bacterial growth. Prune extract or juice contains malic, benzoic, and salicylate acids which may also have a preservative effect in some baked snacks.
- Herbs and spices
Cinnamon, clove, thyme, oregano, and capsicums contain many active biological compounds that exhibit antimicrobial properties. These spices make excellent additions to savory crackers for flavor and aroma and may prevent the bacteria and mold growth that decrease shelf-life.
Hops beta acids, such as lupulone, colupulone, and adlupulone, from hops flowers, have antimicrobial properties that can extend the shelf life of processed foods. These acids inhibit the growth of various gram-positive bacteria that causes food to spoil.
As global tastes shift toward healthy whole foods, the savory snacks industry must adjust its ingredient lists to incorporate natural preservatives that can keep wholegrain crackers fresh. Advanced Biotech is a leading supplier of natural food additives that can help flavor, fragrance, and preserve a range of processed foods. Please contact us for more information.