Moldy Protein Brownies? Master Foods Labโ€™s 4-Pronged Attack on Mold


Moldy Protein Brownies

You canโ€™t stop mold 100% of the time, but you can do four major things to prevent it from growing. Learn how Master Foods Lab aproaches it.

Itโ€™s always an educational experience when we get to hear from Michael Alfaro of Master Foods Lab. As the functional foods and high-protein snack marketplace continues to heat up, and brands are competing to release delicious, better-for-you protein snacks, Master Foods Lab has been established as an industry-leading contract manufacturer in this niche.

A couple months ago, we traveled to South Florida to get a Master Foods Lab plant tour and to podcast with Alfaro in Episode #125 to discuss all things functional foods. This yielded an information-packed podcast episode where we get into all the nitty gritty details of what goes into making the perfect protein snack.

After we finished filming, we added even more content โ€” a quick question-and-answer section โ€” that you wonโ€™t find in the podcast. Hereโ€™s the first clip:

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If I open up a protein brownie, and itโ€™s moldy โ€“ how does that happen?

Mold needs three key things to grow:

Michael Alfaro: Master Foods Lab - PricePlow Podcast Episode #125Michael Alfaro: Master Foods Lab - PricePlow Podcast Episode #125

Michael Alfaro, founder/CEO of Master Foods Lab, brought us to his facility in Miami, FL to join PricePlow Podcast for Episode #125 to talk functional foods, high-protein snacks, protein bars, and everything in between! Master Foods Lab is the premier manufacturer for all kinds of high-protein snacks.

  1. Food,
  2. Water, and
  3. Oxygen.

As the protein brownie space has grown leaps and bounds, and brands want their brownies to be moist, it introduces the possibility of mold โ€” and many consumers have experienced this with some brownies, especially when theyโ€™re not made with the care that Master Foods Lab puts into their process.

How Master Foods Lab fights to prevent the mold situation

There are a variety of things that can lead to mold, such as improperly-sealed packaging, humidity being trapped in the product, and too much water content in the product.

Preventing mold can never be 100% guaranteed, but risk is mitigated through making sure every step of the process is locked down. You want to:

  1. Remove the majority of the water in the product
  2. Ensure it is handled properly (so no water gets accidentally introduced)
  3. Employ tactics like nitrogen flushes to displace the oxygen
  4. Use UV light treatment just prior to the packaging process.
Mike Roberto Master Foods Functional Brownie FormulationMike Roberto Master Foods Functional Brownie Formulation

How much glycine can Mike pack into a brownie, and why? Stay tuned to PricePlowโ€™s content to find out

These are the challenges that Master Foods Lab has conquered over the past years, learning from not only Alfaroโ€™s own experience, but the experiences of the competition.

Again, itโ€™s not a 100% perfect process, but if you do everything you can to mitigate the problem, you can extend the shelf life of high-protein brownies and still keep their texture.

The Future of Functional Foods

For a long time, functional, high-protein snacks ventured no further than protein bars. This is changing rapidly as brands come to understand the power of a health food that provides some chewable satisfaction that a shake just canโ€™t match.

Whether youโ€™re looking for bars, brownies, or cereals, Master Foods Lab will โ€“ more often than not โ€“ have a delicious product hitting the production line.

You can head back to Episode #125 of the PricePlow Podcast with Michael Alfaro, see our 2024 new protein snack tastings, and sign up for our Master Foods Lab news alerts on PricePlow โ€” more of these will be coming soon!

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