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Calcium propionate is added to inhibit the growth of mould. Calcium propionates are
effective against mold and the mucoid variant of Bacillus subtilis. Because they have
only slight action on yeast, they are used baked goods such as “bahulu” without detriment
to leavening. The calcium salt is preferred in “bahulu” as it has the further benefit of
contributing to enrichment by supplying calcium. Sodium Propionate is preferred over
calcium propionate in cakes and other chemically leavened goods since the calcium ion
can interfere with leavening action. The propionates disperse easily in basic dough
ingredients. They do not alter color, taste, volume or baking time at the levels commonly
used. It is also not toxic to these organisms, but does prevent them from reproducing and
posing a health risk to humans. Studies indicate that calcium propionate is one of the
safest food additives used by the food industry.

To study the shelf-life of bahulu preserved using different concentration of calcium


640 g eggs
540 g granulated sugar
500 g plain wheat flour
10 ml cooking oil

640 g eggs
540 g granulated sugar
500 g plain wheat flour
10 ml cooking oil
500 ppm calcium propionate

640 g eggs
540 g granulated sugar
500 g plain wheat flour
10 ml cooking oil
1000 ppm calcium propionate

All ingredients were prepared and weighed based on the formulations.

Eggs were whisked in an electric mixer at medium speed for about 30 minutes. Sugar was
added in and the mixture was added in for another 30 minutes or until light and fluffy.

It was gradually blended in sifted flour (and calcium propionate) and mix well at low
speed for about 1 minutes.

pH of the mixture was measured and recorded.

Baking tray was washed with cooking oil and preheat the greased baking tray at 180ºC
for 5 to 10 minutes. The baking tray was removed from the oven and the mixture was
immediately poured into the baking tray.

It was baked at 180ºC for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden. It was cooled on trays for 2 to
3 minutes. It was transferred to a wire rack to cool it completely.

It was stored in an airtight container bags.

The sample were observed to see sign of spoilage for six consecutive weeks.

In this experiment, my group have carried out the difference concentration of calcium
propionate on the shelf life of “bahulu”. Three condition have been set up which are
Formulation 1; “bahulu” without any calcium propionate (as a control), Formulation 2 ;
“bahulu” with 500ppm calcium propionate and Formulation 3; “bahulu” with 1000ppm
From our observation within 6 weeks, the sample of “bahulu” without any calcium
propionate added in it was spoilage faster than the other two formulation which is they
started to spoilage after 2 weeks. Whereas, “bahulu” with 1000ppm was take a longer
time to spoilage compared to others.

What we can see from the sign of spoilage on “bahulu”, the control container (0ppm),
have appear the excessive amount of mould after 4 days and also was extremely off-
flavor after 4 days. The odor is extremely off at day 5 and the color was turn to whitish at
day 4. For overall acceptance, it was extremely dislike. While for 500ppm calcium
propionate, the mold start to growth after 6 days and also was moderately off-flavor after
6 days. The odor is moderately off at day 5 and the color was turn to yellow at day 2 until
6. For overall acceptance, it was moderately dislike. For 1000ppm, the small amount of
mold start to growth after 6 days and also was slightly off-flavor after 6 days. The odor is
slightly off at day 6 and the color was remain the same which is golden color until 6 days.
For overall acceptance, it was slightly dislike.

Various methods have been adopted in an attempt to prevent mould spoilage. These
include addition of addition of chemical mould inhibiting preservatives such as calcium
propionates, limiting the availability of oxygen. The chemical preservatives such as
calcium propionate are most effective at low pH so acids are often added in combination
with these preservatives to reduce the pH of the baked product such as “bahulu” and
hence improve the effectiveness of the added preservative. To extend the shelf life of
“bahulu”, calcium propionate up to al level about 1000ppm was added. Owing to the
lower water activity of “bahulu”, the main spoilage agents are molds.

Baked products with a relatively neutral pH, high moisture content and high water
activity such as “bahulu” are particularly prone to rapid spoilage from a variety of
moulds, principally Penicillium and Aspergillus species. Calcium propionate are the
preferred microbial inhibitors. The microbial inhibitor may be included in the dough
and/or applied to the exterior surfaces of the “bahulu” before baking.


In conclusion, the spoilage of “bahulu” was depends on concentration of calcium

propionate added on it. The more concentrate calcium propionate, the more its hard to

Calcium Propionate Preservative Food, Retrieved February 28, 2009 Web sites,

Effect of Calcium Propionate, Retrieved February 28, 2009, Web sites,

Erich Lück, Martin Jager, S. F. Laichena, Antimocrobial Food Additives, Retrieved

February 28, 2009 Web sites,

Stanley P. Cauvain, Bread Making, Retrieved February 28, 2009 Web sites,