Is the change in texture and aroma of baked goods due to a change of structure and loss of moisture by the starch granules. This is a concern because most baked goods loose quality rapidly.
Staling begins almost as soon as the baked items are removed from the oven. There are apparently two factors in staling. They are:
Loss of moisture
Starch retrogradation – a chemical change in the structure of the starch occurs when little or no moisture is lost.
Chemical staling is rapid at refrigerator temperatures, but nearly stops at freezer temperatures. If the chemical staling is not too great; the product can be refreshed, by re-heating it just before being served.
Loss of crispness, the opposite of staling, occurs when the product absorbs moisture. Proper storage in airtight containers can help solve this problem.
In addition to refreshing baked goods in the oven, 3 main techniques are used to slow down staling:
Protecting the product from air a. wrapping soft breads in plastic will slow down the staling process. However, Hard-crusted breads should never be wrapped in plastic or it will loose its texture and become soft and leathery. b. cover cakes with icing that is thick and has a high fat content
Adding moisture retainers to the formula Fats and sugar are good moisture retainers, so product high in these ingredients, keep best.
Freezing Baked goods frozen before they become stale maintain quality for longer periods. For best results, freeze soon after baking in a blast freezer at 40º F (-40º C), and maintained in a freezer at or below 0º F (-18º C) until ready to thaw. Breads should be served very quickly after thawing and can be refreshed with excellent results if they are served immediately after reheating them.