Cinnamon is Key Ingredient in Anti-Mold Wrapper

8/29/08

New York Times

By Kenneth Chang

Cinnamon, a spice added to breads and other bakery items, soon may also be an ingredient in the wrapper around the bread as a way to keep out mold.

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Cinnamon may soon be an ingredient in the wrapper, not just the bread.

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In addition to its sweet, woody aroma, cinnamon has long been known for its capacity to stop spoilage. It was one of the ingredients used by ancient Egyptian embalmers, who may not have known about microbes, but could see the effect of the spice.

Spanish researchers took advantage of that property in developing an antimold wrapper. In the Aug. 13 issue of The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, they report that even with bread already tainted with mold, a wax paper made with 6 percent cinnamon oil inhibited the growth by 96 percent, prolonging freshness by up to 10 days. (Plain wax paper did not slow the mold at all.)

Cristina Nerin, one of the researchers at the University of Zaragoza, said a cinnamon-containing plastic had been developed and was in use commercially.

In addition, the wrapper may also be effective in keeping fruits, vegetables and meats fresh. The researchers said the cinnamon wax paper was safe and environmentally friendly.

 

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