How long is banana bread good for?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “How long is banana bread good for?” and will discuss how to properly store banana bread at different places.

How long is banana bread good for?

Banana bread is good for about 3 to 4 days if you store it in an airtight container on a kitchen counter. For up to a week, you may store it in the fridge. Banana bread may be frozen for later use if you run out of time. However, it may depend on the ingredients. A study evaluated the replacement of banana puree for banana flour in the manufacturing of banana bread. This could extend the shelf life of the product from 4 to 9 days (1).

How to Keep Banana Bread Fresh for a Longer Time?

Banana bread first became a standard feature of American cook books with the popularization of baking soda and baking powder in the 1930’s. It appeared in Pillsbury’s 1933 Balanced Recipes cookbook, and later gained more acceptances with the release of the original Chiquita Banana’s Recipe Book in 1950. National Banana Bread Day in America is the 23rd of February. Bananas appeared in the US in the 1870’s and it took a while for them to appear as ingredient items for desserts. The modern banana bread recipe began being published in cook books around the 1930s and its popularity was greatly helped by the introduction of baking powder on the market. In summary, banana bread is considered a cake, because it is a fast cake made with baking soda, but it can also be made with yeast as a leavening bread (2).

Staling is one of the most important attributes in cake quality. Cake staling is a complex process that includes loss of flavor, changes in mouth texture, loss of tenderness, humidity redistribution and partial dryness. All these changes contribute to diminishing consumer acceptability. In consequence, the stability of cakes during storage or shelf life can be defined as the maintenance of the physical and sensorial characteristics associated with freshness, such as tenderness, compressibility and humidity, and minimize the alterations associated with staling. The shelf life of cakes depends on the formulation, the packaging, the water activity and the storage conditions and it is normally between 1 and 4 weeks long (3).

On the counter, in the refrigerator, or the freezer, you may keep banana bread fresh. For short-term storage, you may put it in a paper bag, and for longer-term storage, you can use a plastic container. Keep the bread in an airtight container or wrapper before placing it in the fridge or freezer.

Let the banana bread cool completely before storing it, whether it is your recipe or one purchased from a local bakery. Condensation will develop on the bread’s surface or the container’s inside if it is enclosed while still warm. A rapid spread of mold might result from this water.

Storing on the counter

If you know you’ll eat the banana bread in a day or two, you may leave it out on the counter without any further covering. A seal will keep the moisture in if that isn’t enough time. The most preferred method is to store the bread in an airtight container. As a result, the bread is kept moist while being able to breathe. At room temperature, the banana bread will last for 4 days (1).

The packaging material may significantly extend the shelf life of cakes. A study showed that  by using aluminum foil-LDPE laminated packaging, the shelf life of milk cake was 21 days at room temperature and 1 months in the refrigerator. The losses on texture and flavor were noticed after one week in both cases due to moisture loss and color changes resulting from browning reactions during storage (4). 

Storing in refrigerator

It’s commonly known that the refrigerator dries out food, and we don’t want that to happen to our banana bread. For this reason, many people advise against storing banana bread in the refrigerator. Wrapping or sealing the bread firmly is your best bet for avoiding this destiny.

Wrapping the bread in plastic wrap will help to maintain the moisture within the loaf for as long as possible. To keep bread fresh, you may keep it in a food container. In addition, it preserves moisture within the loaf, making it simple to take, cut, and return to the fridge.

The rate of chemical reactions which cause quality losses are decreased during storing at lower temperatures. Because of this, the shelf life may be extended from a few days to a few weeks. In this case, a moisture-proof container should be used or a plastic bag, which avoids moisture loss. The refrigeration will not prevent microbial growth, but it can be delayed (4).

Storing in freezer

The only negative of freezing banana bread is that it will lose some of its moistness when it thaws. Even so, it’s not a huge deal. To put it another way, the bread will lose some of its texture if you freeze it sliced, which is what I advise.

Although the bread has changed, the banana flavor is still there, and most people won’t notice the difference I mentioned. If you’re used to eating banana bread with butter or other toppings, you may as well not notice the difference. 

Freezing banana bread is a worthwhile investment, particularly if you’d rather toss it away than risk wasting it. Some even advocate that you make two or more loaves and freeze the leftovers. You may want to give this option a second thought if you’re a fan of the snack and want to save time.

The process of freezing and frozen storage can reduce the staling rate. However, there is a detrimental effect on textural (firmness) and quality properties (specific volume and moisture content) during sub-zero temperature storage. Additionally, the growth of ice crystals and their re-crystallisation affect the structure of the product. In a study of frozen storage of cake, after 2 months of storage, texture (firmness, cohesiveness and resilience) was significantly affected and starch retrogradation was observed, while by the fourth month, the crystallinity increased and crumb fractures were noticeable (5).

No, I’m not a fan of freezing banana bread. A few slices from the bread on hand may be frozen to observe how things go. There is a good chance you will be satisfied with the outcome.

What Are the Signs That Your Banana Bread Is Wrong?

Do not eat the bread if:

·         A lot of time goes by without being used. Anything left out on the counter or in the refrigerator for more than a week has to be thrown out.

·         The discoloration is seen on the surface. Bread is no exception; if you notice any fuzziness, it’s probably not good. Mold may spread well beyond where you can see it in banana bread, so cutting off the moldy area and eating the remainder of the loaf is a bad idea.

·         It doesn’t smell right. Your loaf’s smell may tell you whether or not it’s safe for consumption. Keep away from anything that doesn’t smell like ripe bananas and is instead rotting.

·         The last step is to taste and evaluate the product’s quality. It’s up to you whether you want to eat it or throw it away if it tastes stale.

As always, if you’re unsure whether your food is safe to consume, throw it away. Better safe than sorry!

How Do You Keep Banana Bread Moist?

If your banana bread is prone to drying out, keep it covered or wrapped up. Bread Boxes or airtight containers are the best way to keep bread fresh, no matter where you keep it. Both aid in keeping the bread moist for a few more days.

Other FAQs about Bread that you may be interested in.

Can you use yeast flakes for bread?

Can You Make Avocado Toast the Night Before?

How to preserve bread

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the query, “How long is banana bread good for?” and discussed how to properly store banana bread at different places.

References

  1. Samsudin, N. I. P., et al. Shelf life extension of ambient-stored banana cake using banana powder. Int Food Res J, 2019, 26.
  2. Masih, Minali, and Tushar Desale. Preparation of banana bread to utilize the overripe banana. Int J Food Sci Nutr, 2019, 4, 30-33.
  3. Gomez, Manuel, et al. Modeling of texture evolution of cakes during storage. J text stud, 2010, 41, 17-33.
  4. Landge, S. N., et al. Effect of packaging materials, storage period and temperature on acceptability of milk cake. J Dairy Foods Home Sci, 2009, 28, 20-25.
  5. Díaz‐Ramírez, Mayra, et al. Sponge cake microstructure, starch retrogradation and quality changes during frozen storage. Int J Food Sci Technol, 2016, 51, 1744-1753.