Bread is a household staple with 99.8 percent of households adding it to their shopping basket, totalling nearly 11 millions loaves sold each day. Express.co.uk spoke to Jill Charlton, Head of Nutrition at Warburtons about the best ways to store bread to ensure it stays fresh for as long as possible, and how to reduce the chance of it going mouldy.
To make a loaf of bread last as long as possible, you need to select the best loaf from the supermarket shelf.
Jill said: “Warburtons always advises to firstly check the Best Before dates which appear on a yellow sticker on the wax wrapped bread or, if in a bag, the plastic necktie. Bread can still be eaten after the Best Before date, although may not be at its best quality. The consumer should always check for any mould before consuming.
“Many consumers use the ‘squeeze test’ to determine if their loaf is fresh which can damage the bread if too heavy handed, so not really recommended.”
Another thing to look out for is the packaging, check it is not damaged before adding it to your basket.
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As for what the best way to store bread is, Jill explained: “Warburtons recommend storing its products in a cool dark place, but not the refrigerator as this can cause the bread to stale quicker.
“Freezing is a great way to store bread if you can’t eat it all before the Best Before date, it helps avoid food waste as well.”
If you do choose to freeze bread, “you must first ensure that your freezer is running at the correct temperature minus 18 Celsius,” Jill said. “This ensures the bread freezes quickly without affecting the quality.
“Avoid the bread touching the sides of the freezer as this could cause freezer burn on the sides of the bread.
“Most bread can be frozen up to three months. Sliced bread defrosts quite quickly so it’s great to always have fresh bread to hand. Bread can be toasted directly from frozen.”
For those that prefer to keep their loaf in a bread bin, Jill said: “If the conditions are warm then the bread may not last and go mouldy, so store in the freezer if you are not going to get through the loaf quickly.”
Jill said there are a few ways to tell if bread is past its best: “Warm conditions can accelerate mould growth, fortunately the appearance of green/blue mould spots and a distinctive aroma alerts the consumer that the product is not fit to be eaten.”
In terms of brown versus white bread, Jill said there is “no difference” in time for the moulding process to occur between the varieties.
“Warburtons crumpets do have a longer shelf life as we pack them differently, we use carbon dioxide inside the pack for a longer shelf life,” she revealed.
Some food storage hacks suggest removing sliced bread from the plastic bags they are sold in, but what does Warburtons recommend?
“It’s always best to keep the bread in its original packaging,” Jill said. “Removing the bread can cause damage and could make the bread go mouldy quicker if hands are dirty.”
Warburtons new Plant Power sliced bread and Toastie bread are in paper bags – so does this mean the bread stays fresher for longer?
“All our packaging is carefully selected to ensure our products remain as fresh as possible for as long as possible and maintain the highest quality,” the expert added. “The paper substrate for the new seeds and grains range is a really positive addition to our range in being 100 percent recyclable.”
A few facts about Warburtons:
Warburtons produces more than two million fresh bakery products each day and sell circa 1.2 million loaves a day.
In 1867 Thomas and Ellen Warburton baked their first batch of white loaves in their small Bolton grocery store. They sold out in under an hour. The company opened its first bakery in 1915.
Warburtons’ Toastie loaf is the most popular loaf. It is a white bread loaf which is designed to be toasted. The product is wrapped in wax paper to ensure all the freshness and taste is sealed in from the moment it’s baked.
Warburtons have just under 30 sliced loaves in their range, and also produce, rolls, sandwich thins, bagels, fruited loaves and teacakes, crumpets, pancakes, potato cakes, muffins and a range of gluten free products.
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