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Subject: Cake


From: Jerry Shiner <jshiner<-a>
Date: Friday, April 15, 2005
Karl Gillies <karl.gillies [at] southlandmuseum__co__nz> writes

>My museum has recently acquired an artwork in the form of an
>elaborately iced cake. The core is a cooked fruitcake, but the sides
>are entirely covered with a thick layer of sugary icing which has
>set hard. The shape is of a miniature band rotunda and there are
>four "trees" also made of icing (with food colouring). There is a
>little fence (icing) around the rotunda, and this is particularly

I would look to commercial food manufacturers for possible
solutions. Frozen storage is an option, but with obvious
limitations. Freeze drying might also be considered- this process
might preserve the shape and look of the cake, while making it less
likely to degrade quickly from microorganisms.

More commonly, oxygen-free storage is used by many food
manufacturers to prolong the shelf life of their products. Small
cakes are regularly packed this way in Japan, and they typically
have very long shelf-lives.

Anoxic packaging can be done with a nitrogen or argon purge, but
removing all the oxygen with this method can be very difficult.
Oxygen-free storage for foods is not truly effective unless oxygen
levels fall to 0.5% or less.

I would suggest the use of an oxygen absorber (such as AGELESS), and
barrier film envelope (eg ESCAL). This is a well established system
used for storage, as well as for anoxic treatments for insect

For further information, see <URL:>

Jerry Shiner
Keepsafe Systems
416-703-4696  info<-a t->keepsafe< . >ca

                  Conservation DistList Instance 18:51
                  Distributed: Tuesday, April 26, 2005
                       Message Id: cdl-18-51-013
Received on Friday, 15 April, 2005

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