For the makers of a German holiday treat, the application of infrared heat prior to packaging can help reduce the formation of mold.

For Christmas stollen, a rich pastry, tests have shown that exposing the stollen to 6 seconds of infrared heat at 257°F (125°C) is enough to achieve a notable effect, says Heraeus Noblelight. In its newsletter, the maker of infrared heating systems also noted that tests with baked bread showed that it lasted three to four days longer when it was treated with medium-wave infrared emitters for only 4 seconds.

Heraeus Noblelight carried out the tests to determine the effectiveness of infrared radiation as mold-prevention technology in its application center in the United Kingdom as well as in commercial bakery facilities. The short heating time does not have any negative effects on the taste or the consistency of the bread, the company says. Bakeries can use Heraeus' testing facilities to evaluate the effectiveness of the technology.

Infrared heat can also be used to provide targeted and controllable heat to ready-made meals or chocolate products.