Puratos launched its cake improver, Acti-Fresh, in 2006. The latest development is based on Novozymes' enzyme technology, combined with other freshness ingredients. According to ingredient manufacturer Puratos, in-house testing has shown that Puratos Acti-Fresh solutions combined with Novozymes enzyme technology can provide 30-35 per cent additional softness and moistness compared with standard cakes. In addition, both companies claim that while ordinary products tend to lose their freshness rapidly and completely within a few days, Acti-Fresh extends the freshness of the product over time. Softness and moistness can be maintained for four weeks, and even up to three months, after baking, said the companies. "Analytical evaluation with texture analyzers and sensory evaluation by an expert panel and consumers show that Acti-Fresh offers additional freshness on cakes that have been on the shelf for a while," said Paul Baisier, product manager, Baked Confectionary at Puratos Group. Freshness Puratos Acti-Fresh solutions with Novozymes enzyme technology work by "slowing the retrogradation of starch molecules in wheat flour", Novozymes explained. "Increased freshness is achieved by keeping the crumb more cohesive and soft." Both companies explained that cake freshness is evaluated based on several parameters, which are "softness, moistness, short bite or easy to swallow, cohesiveness, and resiliency." Because freshness is thought to have become a key factor in the consumer's decision to purchase a product, Puratos believes that by working with Novozymes, both companies will be "able to offer the best solution possible to the market, giving our customers a competitive advantage, leading to increased sales and consumer satisfaction." The new cake freshness improver developed by Puratos and Novozymes also works with reduced fat recipes, enabling both companies to target the healthy product market. Cakes new for Novozymes Before its cooperation with Puratos, Novozymes had never developed a technology specifically for cakes. Aware of the huge potential of the cake market, Novozymes explained that the collaboration enabled the group to rely on Puratos's cake expertise to commercialise the new enzyme technology for cake freshness as fast as possible. Thomas Erik Nilsson, global launch manager, Cereal Food and Beverages at Novozymes, said: "We knew that initially we would need a partner who knew the cake market well to help us commercialise our technology." Puratos ActiFresh solutions are available in powder form, as concentrates or as complete mixes. They are also offered as fat-based margarine or shortening in paste or liquid form.