Re-Freezing Imbc

Decorating By Norasmom Updated 13 Jul 2012 , 3:30am by scp1127

Norasmom Posted 12 Jun 2012 , 12:25am
post #1 of 15

Is it okay to freeze IMBC, thaw it, and then re-freeze it, or is that a no-no that might make it potentially hazardous? Thanks!

14 replies
Adam101 Posted 23 Jun 2012 , 5:09am
post #2 of 15

I'm new to the cake forum lingo but I would assume that IMBC is Italian meringue butter cream. If so, it is not hazardous to freeze, thaw, and refreeze. You could leave it out at room temperature for a month and it would be fine, assuming the butter in it does not go rancid. Great choice with Italian!

KoryAK Posted 23 Jun 2012 , 8:26am
post #3 of 15

Ditto to Adam, except I think a month is pushing it. I would say 2 weeks is a good top limit (at room temp)

BakingIrene Posted 23 Jun 2012 , 5:56pm
post #4 of 15

Well Adam I hope you have unlimited liability insurance.

Because I as a customer would utterly refuse to buy or eat anything with any form of egg in it that had been left at room temperature more than 24 hours. If I found out after the fact then you can believe that you would never hear the end of the lawsuits.

You MUST read labels on the products that are shelf-stable in grocery stores.They don't contain any milk or egg proteins or by-products like lactose. They are made up from water, sugar, cooked starch, pH modifiers, and additives like titanium dioxide that also makes you house paint white.

God help those stupid people who do not read labels and who think that meringue buttercream is "shelf stable" the same way that chemical whip from the store is. And for somebody to tell another person to make the same mistake is the same thing in my professional experience as first-degree murder.

hieperdepiep Posted 23 Jun 2012 , 6:32pm
post #5 of 15

I´have no answer to your question, having had no training in this issue.
I only freeze when I have something left and want to treat my family on a other occasion nearby. (I don´t bake for money) I never re-freeze. Never did with any product.
I do know stores do it. So there must be circumstances and additives which make it possible.

I miss it , not having good information about sustainibility. I think SCP1127 posted something about it 1/ 2 weeks ago.
A cake has eggs and sometimes milk in the recipe and has some shelflife. But I do not know wich procedures a recipe must include precisely for it to become shelf stable.

Adam101 Posted 23 Jun 2012 , 9:52pm
post #6 of 15

Well Irene,

I would refrain from calling someone stupid if you don't exactly know what's in an Italian Meringue Butter Cream and how it actually works. You see, the protein in egg whites that can harbor bacteria growth is denatured when in contact with 240F-245F sugar. Thus the whites are no longer hazardous because the sugar eliminates an environment in which the bacteria associated with raw uncooked egg whites or even cooked egg whites can thrive or grow whatsoever.

The same can be said for Swiss meringue butter cream. The sugar is melted along with the whites, which denatures the protein. The same for French.

The only reasons most restaurants and bakeries alike refrigerate an Italian butter cream is so that it doesn't dry out or melt due to the heat of the kitchen.

FYI,

In my professional experience as an executive pastry chef, an IMBC contains whites, sugar, butter. With extracts or purees added. And I don't believe one can purchase an IMBC to decorate with.

The point was that it isn't potentially hazardous. Yes, one can leave out an IMBC for extended periods of time, but the emulsification that is the butter would melt and separate, which is still edible and not hazardous, as long as the butter isn't rancid.

Also, if you want to eliminate eating anything that has any form of egg in it that isn't refrigerated, I would stay away from cookies, breads, cake and croissants.

Have a nice day.

vpJane Posted 28 Jun 2012 , 4:30pm
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam101

Well Irene,

I would refrain from calling someone stupid if you don't exactly know what's in an Italian Meringue Butter Cream and how it actually works. You see, the protein in egg whites that can harbor bacteria growth is denatured when in contact with 240F-245F sugar. Thus the whites are no longer hazardous because the sugar eliminates an environment in which the bacteria associated with raw uncooked egg whites or even cooked egg whites can thrive or grow whatsoever.

The same can be said for Swiss meringue butter cream. The sugar is melted along with the whites, which denatures the protein. The same for French.

The only reasons most restaurants and bakeries alike refrigerate an Italian butter cream is so that it doesn't dry out or melt due to the heat of the kitchen.

FYI,

In my professional experience as an executive pastry chef, an IMBC contains whites, sugar, butter. With extracts or purees added. And I don't believe one can purchase an IMBC to decorate with.

The point was that it isn't potentially hazardous. Yes, one can leave out an IMBC for extended periods of time, but the emulsification that is the butter would melt and separate, which is still edible and not hazardous, as long as the butter isn't rancid.

Also, if you want to eliminate eating anything that has any form of egg in it that isn't refrigerated, I would stay away from cookies, breads, cake and croissants.

Have a nice day.




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sfandm Posted 28 Jun 2012 , 5:12pm
post #8 of 15

Ditto thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

well said Adam101.

icer101 Posted 28 Jun 2012 , 5:22pm
post #9 of 15

I appreciate your info Adam 101. Thanks for your input and knowledge!!!

zespri Posted 28 Jun 2012 , 9:09pm
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam101

The same can be said for Swiss meringue butter cream. The sugar is melted along with the whites, which denatures the protein. The same for French.




That was such an interesting read Adam, thanks for taking the time to write it out. I am a current lover of IMBC, but have always been curious about French. My concern was that I've read you have more chance of salmonella from the yolks than the whites, in fact it's an argument I've used to convince people to try IMBC. So maybe I'll be a bit braver and try french as it sounds delicious.

One question though, you've said "the protein in egg whites that can harbor bacteria growth is denatured when in contact with 240F-245F sugar"

I follow Warren Brown's recipe which takes the sugar up slightly higher than most, to 245. The instant you take it off the heat it would start to cool down, so even if you're taking the syrup straight to the mixer, it still takes a few seconds to pour it in carefully down the side. So how long does the protein take to 'denature'? (No idea what that means, but assume it means 'make it safe'!) Not everyone has a digital thermometer, so it's possible that they may stop boiling the sugar syrup at 240 or so, which means the temp will go down below that range by the time it reaches the egg whites. I read somewhere that to kill all the bad stuff, egg whites need to be brought up to at a certain temperature range (possibly that which you just mentioned) for a certain length of time, I thought several minutes??? I know that's very vauge, I can't for the life of me find where I read that, sorry icon_sad.gif But I've read it a few times, that it's unlikely the sugar syrup will stay hot enough to 'do the deed' to the egg whites when making IMBC. If you have any more info on that I'd love to know, as it's something I've always wondered about.

Adam101 Posted 4 Jul 2012 , 3:40am
post #11 of 15

Zespri,

Salmonella is only located on the outside of the shell, not the white or the yolk. The whites and yolks can be contaminated if they come into contact with the outside of the shell when breaking. So the yolk is no more dangerous than the white.

Second, a general rule of thumb for cooking egg whites is to bring them above 140F. Harmful bacterias which can contaminate foods with protein thrive in temperatures above 75F to 125F. Most of those bacterias are killed off once 140F is reached. 135F and above is the temperature at which buffet lines are able to hold their food safely for consumption.

However, the presence of sugar eliminates bacteria. Take tiramisu for example. Many mousse recipes for tiramisu don't require cooking the eggs, because mixing the sugar with the yolks, then the whites, is enough to kill off any harmful bacteria. The sugar "denatures" the egg. It changes it's properties to where it can no longer harbor bacteria.

Third, the sugar's temperature has little to do with sanitation since all you need to reach is 140F, but has to do with the stability of the butter cream. Cooking to 240F or 245F is what stage the sugar is in. A cooled cooked sugar's consistency and texture depends on what temperature it was cooked at. Note the temperature differences in the sugar cooked in a toffee as compared to a butter cream. Italian butter cream is more stable, due to the "firmer" consistency when cooled. The Swiss and French are great and are just as safe. All three have different characteristics, but are all equally safe.

When taking sugar off the stove once you reach, for example, 245F, the sugar will invariably cool. However, it's not the temperature that matters, but it's that you reached 245F as opposed to 240F. With each increment of temperature, a sugar's properties are changed. There is no difference when you cook a sugar to 245F and wait a few minutes before putting it in with your egg whites, than putting it in immediately. You just don't want to wait too long that the sugar becomes to thick to pour.

For food safety's sake, all that matter is that your sugar is melted and combined into your whites. Once combined, possible bacteria is killed and can't grow.

zespri Posted 12 Jul 2012 , 8:48am
post #12 of 15

Thanks again Adam, it's taken me a while to read all this, but again I appreciate you took the time to share your knowledge icon_smile.gif

bakescupcakes Posted 12 Jul 2012 , 9:07am
post #13 of 15

Thanks so much Adam!! great info!! I absolutely love IMBC and do use it. I did do some research and concluded that it was safe at room temp. But you have added more info which I really appreciate icon_smile.gif

Addictive_desserts Posted 12 Jul 2012 , 9:08am
post #14 of 15

Loved your knowledge adam! Thanks

scp1127 Posted 13 Jul 2012 , 3:30am
post #15 of 15

Sorry Adam, but much of what you said is a direct contradiction to FDA, USDA, and Egg Board safety. You wrote a nice sounding post, but there is so much incorrect information.

First to the OP, this may be a question for your HD. In MD, one of the states where I sell, re-freezing is not allowed. Previously frozen items must be labeled as such for the consumer.

For the egg safety, the correct temp to bring your eggs to in any situation is 160 egrees.

Yes, you kill off the hazards, but this does not mean that refrigeration can be ignored. If you cook a fried egg to 160, it does not mean that setting it on the counter for two weeks is ok.

Yes, IMBC has meringue transformed into a confection, but as it was pointed out, without proper calibration, accurate mathemaatics, and proper method, the outcome is subjective. Butter starts to deteriorate at room temp (72) in three days and rancidity sets in, getting stronger with each day (per the USDA, FDA, and Dairy Board). Rancidity will not harm you, but it will hurt your buttercream.

Yes, with proper care, an IMBC can sit out and not kill someone. But when you go against federal safety standards, a person who gets the flu can accuse you of providing hazardous food. When it is found that you did not follow proper procedure, you will be tied up longer. More attorney fees, more time, etc. Even if your HD says otherwise, they could be wrong. If you don't want to be sued, look it up. If you own property and have any assets to protect, look it up. And don't assume that your liability insurance will protect you.

It would be nice if anyone acting as an authority on food safety would actually give correct information. I do not profess to be an authority. I just have this thing on my computer called google that allows me to magically get the correct information. It's amazing.

I would suggest to anyone concerned with food safety to please look it up yourself if in doubt. Look for sites with .edu and .gov. Also look for answers on the FDA, USDA, Egg Board, and Dairy Board for your answers. Any other site is just people like us posting on forums and blogs.

There are other issues with the post, but I just hope that people do not take any post at face value when it concerns food safety. No even mine.

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