January 30, 2023

Patent-pending mould-inhibiting packaging set to make big dent in bread waste

Since 2017, the Wisconsin-based company has helped US commercial bakeries address the major waste challenge, which sees over 700 million spoiled or expired sell-by loaves of bread being tossed annually, costing the sector around $1.4bn. This represents 12% of the pre-retail food waste for grain products. Another 19% (accounting for $2.2bn) is lost at consumer level, thanks to stale and mouldy bread.

“SoFresh, Inc. is committed to mitigating food spoilage. Our team is dedicated to fighting food waste in the US and throughout the world,”​ said cofounder, president and CEO Toby Thomas.

The team is headed by Thomas and cofounder and chief technology officer Bill Belias.

“We have been on a 25-year quest to keep food fresh. We are both engineers experienced in bringing innovations to food companies solving their most pressing needs,”​ said Thomas.

Stopping mould from forming colonies

The duo has developed patent-pending moisture activated materials that use elevated moisture levels of perishable foods to release mould-inhibiting FDA-approved vapour, which stops mould spores from multiplying and forming colonies. This enables bakeries to extend their onshelf time from four day to 14-16 days.

“SoFresh has commercialised packaging for the bakery industry and our early adopters are realising 4X the shelf life of preservative-free baked goods, saving them big money,”​ said Thomas.

“We have trials ongoing with more than 30 small to very large wholesale bakeries, including three top 10 bakeries in North America.”

He added the company is also working with several big box stores and major retailers to deliver 1-2 extra days of shelf life to fresh baked goods instore, along with thaw-n-sell products. The packaging enables goods to retain their clean label status by eliminating Calcium Propionate, ascorbic acid, vinegar, raisin extract and cultured wheat (known as propionic acid).