Bread Fun Facts: How to tell if it's fresh

Bread Fun Facts: How to tell if it's fresh

By on Jul 19th 2018

There’s nothing better than a loaf of fresh bread. But—other than the expiration date printed on the bag—how do you know that the bread you’re buying at the market is fresh? When making bread, preservatives play an important role in increasing shelf-life.

What preservatives are used in bread?

Bread preservatives are additives that help slow the deterioration of bread. While there are no specific/unique preservatives in bread (the preservatives used here can be used in multiple recipes), commonly used bread ingredients include: citric acid, calcium propionate, potassium sorbate, and sorbic acid.

Citric acid

When used as a preservative, citric acid protects from the formation of off-flavors and orders in foods by sequestering metal ions.

Calcium propionate

Excellent at preventing the formation of mold and bacteria, calcium propionate is primarily used as a preservative. While increasing bread shelf life, it also adds calcium to the final product.

Potassium sorbate

Potassium sorbate is anti-microbial and works to break down water and carbon dioxide in the body. This ingredient is also great for extending the shelf life of baked goods.

Sorbic acid

Used primarily as a preservative, sorbic acid can enhance flavor, provide color, and control acid levels in food.

How you can tell if it’s fresh at the store

Watch Here > Bread Ties! What do the colors mean?

One of our favorite fun bread facts here at has to do with bread bag ties. By looking at the color of these ties, you can tell which day of the week the loaf was baked on!

For example. Monday’s tie may be blue, green can mean it was baked on Tuesday, Thursday could be red, Friday white, and Saturday’s yellow. Typically, stores don’t receive shipments on Wednesday or Sunday, so there’s no colors for those days. These different colors allow store employees to ensure that you're getting the freshest bread possible.

If you want to know which colors pair with week days, you can contact your favorite bread manufacturer to see if they have a schedule and color code they follow!

Next time you shop for bread, you can ensure that you’re getting the freshest loaf by looking for these ingredients on the ingredient list and checking the color of the bread bag tie.

To ensure that your bread stays fresh, shop baking preservatives here at!


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