Cookie Shelf-Life Testing

Folks, if you are going to start a cookie business, please don’t forget to check the shelf life of your cookies!

They may taste great coming out of the oven, but how do they taste a week, or a couple of months down the road?

When it comes to cookies, you can’t test things too many times, whether it’s a recipe or the shelf life. Test, test, and test again. Because if you don’t, it’s your customers who will bring your stale cookies to your attention. Believe me, you don’t want customers to be your guinea pigs.

If you find that your cookies do not have a good shelf life, you may need to either find another recipe, or start adding preservatives.

It is known that “staling” occurs within a short period of time for fresh-baked goods. Thus, those prepared at a bakery for immediate sale have a very short shelf life, typically a day or two, up to at most one week. Packaging can extend that shelf life somewhat, but again such products inevitably will stale in a short time, typically within a week or two, at most. “Staling” involves many different physical and chemical factors. Texture staling is caused by recrystallization of the gelatinized starches, moisture drying, chemical changes causing flavor changes, and microbiological spoilage. Of particular importance is recrystallization of the starches. Source

Dough improvers can bind moisture, change the texture, and substitute for fat. Some preservatives work by changing acidity. Your cookie dough will change depending on what you use and the quantities involved. Depending on what you want to achieve, these additives may not even be noticeable.

In any case, the only way to ensure that your product has long term stability and tastes good is to do some controlled testing.

These days more and more businesses are moving toward a JIT (just in time) model. This means running leaner, fresher, with lower inventories, and faster turnaround times. Source

So take the time you need, to get your cookies perfect. It will translate to more sales for you in the end.

Happy Baking!


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