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Hot season: How bread stays fresh longer in summer
In Germany, huge quantities of food are thrown in the trash every day. If you look at the different foods in detail, bread ends up at the top. Especially in summer it is very susceptible to mold. Experts explain how bread stays fresh longer on muggy and warm summer days.
Every citizen throws away 82 kilos of food every year
According to experts, eleven million tons of food are thrown away every year in Germany. "Around 60 percent of this is attributable to private households, an average of 82 kilograms per person per year," the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Rural Affairs and Consumer Protection wrote on its website. Baked goods such as bread land particularly often in the bin. The initiative "Too good for the bin!" Of the Federal Ministry of Food has put together some tips on its website that help keep the popular pasta fresh, especially in summer.
Particularly susceptible to mold on warm summer days
Whether a toast with jam in the morning, a sandwich for on the go or a crispy baguette for grilling in the evening - bread is an integral part of our menu.
But baked goods are also among the foods that end up in the bin particularly often. In the rankings of food waste, fresh products are just behind fruit and vegetables.
If you take a closer look at groceries, bread and baguettes even come first with around eight percent - ahead of apples and potatoes, which together make up a good seven percent of all waste.
The most common reason for this is spoilage. Bread is particularly susceptible to mold, especially on sultry and warm summer days. But with a few simple tips, it can often be saved from the bin.
Clean the bread container every week
Mold is always annoying - but especially with bread: because if moldy stains form on a loaf or individual slices of bread, unfortunately only the way into the bin remains.
This is because mold spores are often invisible and can already have spread much more than we can see with the naked eye.
According to the initiative, the top priority is cleanliness to prevent mold.
Since work surfaces, boards or containers provide an optimal breeding ground for germs that multiply all the more quickly in hot, humid temperatures, it is advisable to remove bread residues and crumbs regularly and to clean the bread container thoroughly.
To kill harmful pathogens, you don't need expensive special agents: just dilute the vinegar with water and wipe the bread container with the solution and let it dry, done.
Choosing the right place to store bread is at least as important as cleanliness. It should be airy and dry.
If the environment is too humid and the air cannot circulate, the risk increases that water will accumulate and mold will form.
According to “Too good for the bin!” This risk is even higher in the case of bread. This is due to a chemical process called retrogradation. Water from the inside of the bread (the so-called crumb) reaches the surface where it normally evaporates. If it cannot, germs quickly form.
Plastic bags and other airtight containers are therefore unsuitable for storing bread. Commercial paper bags are also not ideal because they remove moisture from the bread and make it get stale faster.
The same applies to the refrigerator - with one exception: In summer, at high temperatures and high humidity, it can sometimes make sense to temporarily store the bread in the refrigerator or to freeze it in slices.
Ideally, bread is stored at room temperature and in special ceramic or clay bread pots. These are breathable, ensure a good exchange of air and moisture and thus prevent mold formation and premature drying out.
Buy smaller quantities
A general principle to prevent premature spoilage is: consume food quickly and go shopping more often and in small quantities.
This applies to fresh products such as bread in general and especially in summer. When shopping, it helps to keep the shelf life of the different varieties in mind.
The two most important rules of thumb are: Light bread spoils faster than dark bread. And: the higher the proportion of rye, wholemeal flour, meal and / or sourdough, the longer the bread stays fresh.
Bread types with a high wheat content are the most sensitive. White bread, for example, only lasts for one to three days if it is stored well. Whole rye and whole rye breads, on the other hand, are usually safe to eat for up to seven days.
Another tip from the initiative: buy bread in one piece because it offers less attack surface for germs and therefore usually lasts longer than sliced bread.
If more is bought than is consumed, fresh bread can be frozen in the freezer bag without problems and stored at minus 18 degrees for up to three months.
This can be done in one piece or cut into slices. The latter can simply be thawed and roasted in the toaster. A whole loaf of bread takes about five hours to thaw again at room temperature.
Creative ideas for bread leftovers
And what to do if the bread dries too quickly in summer? Even stale bread doesn't have to be in the bin!
Rubbed in with a little water, it can be baked in a few minutes - and then tastes almost as delicious as on the first day.
Dry leftovers can also be processed into sweet breadcrumbs, breadcrumbs or summer bread salads. (ad)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.