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post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I'm a chocolate truffle maker, and promote my product as a fresh product, no preservatives. Lately I'm getting requests for boxed truffles, which will require a longer shelf life, so I'm considering the preservative issue for the boxed truffles only. Trouble is, I don't know what a "preservative" really is, where to get it, how to use it. I've heard of so-called natural preservatives, but don't know if they really work. Does anyone out there know about preservatives for longer shelf life?

Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 12
There are many varieties of perservaties such as...

-Calcium benzoate (Typical products include fruit juice)

-Ethyl para-hydroxybenzoate (Typical products include beer, fruit preserves and juices, sauces, flavouring syrups, fruit deserts, processed fish)

-Sulphur dioxide (Typical products include wine, flour, beer, dough products, fresh fruit, dried fruit, fruit fillings and deserts, etc)

-Potassium metabisulphite (Typical products include wine, frozen vegetables, fruit juice, fruit preserves, pickles, frozen shellfish)

-Hexamethylene tetramine, Hexamine (Typical products include marinated fish)

-Dimethyl dicarbonate/Potassium nitrite (Typical products include processed meats, cured and smoked meat and fish, root vegetables)

And the list goes on...

Unless you grow all your food in your own garden and prepare all your meals from scratch, it's almost impossible to eat food without preservatives added by manufacturers during processing. Without such preservatives, food safety problems would get out of hand, to say nothing of the grocery bills. Bread would get moldy, and salad oil would go rancid before it's used up.

Preservatives serve as either antimicrobials or antioxidants-- or both. As antimicrobials, they prevent the growth of molds, yeasts and bacteria. As antioxidants, they keep foods from becoming rancid, browning, or developing black spots. Rancid foods may not make you sick, but they smell and taste bad. Antioxidants suppress the reaction that occurs when foods combine with oxygen in the presence of light, heat, and some metals. Antioxidants also minimize the damage to some essential amino acids--the building blocks of proteins--and the loss of some vitamins.

Hope this helps mate...cheers
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply. It seems rather daunting. It seems that rather than preservatives being something I would add, it's something already in the products that I would use. But in looking at the ingredients listed on the chocolate I use (Guittard French Vanilla Dark), I don't see anything that looks like a preservative listed. I'm wondering how to know which preservative will prolong the shelf life of my truffles. Perhaps I'll contact Guittard, but they're notoriously unhelpful.

Thanks again.
post #4 of 12
There are perservatives in Guittard French Vanilla Dark, one of them being BHT
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Really, now that is very interesting! It's not listed as an ingredient on their packaging, but maybe because it's a scant amount or some other way around it legally for them? Thank you very much for the info.
post #6 of 12
How have you ascertained this information?
post #7 of 12


The water activity of chocolate and fillings is so low there simply is no reason for preservatives. Also, chocolate has a standard of identity. Check Code of Federal Regulations 21 part 163. It is possible that another ingredient used in the formula had the BHT in it. But typically the BHT is there to preserve the ingredient and would not be carried onward to the chocolate label. Chocolate, on its own, properly stored has a shelf life of two years.
post #8 of 12
I too make chocolate truffles with extracts, heavy whipping creams and butter. Is there a specific preservative that you would suggest? I'm not adverse to adding the preservative if it prolongs the life of my truffle. As you know, truffles are best eaten at room temp and not out of the refrigerator. I am having a devil of a time getting wholesale accounts due to the nature of the shelf life.

Thank you
post #9 of 12
The refrigerator will extend the shelf life to 4 weeks or so. Put a sticker on the package, to remind the consumer that it must be refrigerated, and taken to room temperature (inside the package) 2 hours before eating.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Yes, I agree shelf life can be a problem, but we try to turn it around to work for us. We tell our wholesale customers (and prospective customers) that we are promoting chocolate truffles as a "fresh" product, not something that sits around on a shelf for months. For our customers, we make small batches and deliver often. We never recommend putting our truffles in a refrigerator due to picking up other smells, etc. We recommend they store our truffles like red wine, cool and dark (except for those on display). We're having some success with this "fresh food" idea, so it's working all right for us, and people think they're getting something special and out of the ordinary.

Good luck to you.
post #11 of 12

Truffle preservation

Here is an interesting article on the development by some researchers in Spain of an Aloe vera gel as a natural preservative. They tested it on fruit and I wonder if it would work on chocolate as well? Apparently it works as a natural barrier to moisture and oxygen, the two most important items for chocolate. Plus it's natural and safe which could be important selling points. It might take a while though until this is available commercially (if at all).
post #12 of 12
I bake dog treats from home and I am now ready to go further. There is an opportunity to put them into stores but because of shelf life I am thinking of adding Potassium Sorbate.
i would like to stick to being natural but with the uncertainty of not knowing how long they sit on the shelfs it should be wiser to add it.
Do I have to list it as an ingredient ? Since per KG of weight there is only 0.1 gr of Potassium Sorbate needed as per information from a book " Baked Goods Freshness".
Does anyone know how much I do have to add?
Also should I use a different preservative for Treats that contain Meat??
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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