New Zealand's biggest bread baker will investigate new recipes to make a loaf last for up to 10 days, allowing it to quit daily deliveries and cut costs.

Australasian food giant Goodman Fielder, which makes more than 30 per cent of bread sold in New Zealand and has brands including Vogel's and Molenberg, said last night that it was looking for ways to be more efficient.

Corporate affairs director Ian Greenshields said the company would investigate baking in Europe and North America where breads had a shelf-life of up to 10 days.

In New Zealand and Australia, bread is baked and delivered to supermarkets daily. Around 15 per cent is not sold. This is picked up the next day, although it has a shelf-life of about four days, and is made into breadcrumbs or used for stock feed.


Mr Greenshields said the investigation of extending shelf-life was raised at an investors' briefing last week.

The company was not yet certain how European and North American bakers managed to achieve their products' longer shelf-life. It involved "some natural ingredients and also some packaging innovations".

He said Goodman Fielder did not use preservatives in bread and would not do so.

Laurie Powell, chairman of rival baker George Weston Foods, which makes the Tip Top and Burgen brands, said the idea of extending shelf-life was raised periodically but had never progressed. This country had been "brought up on daily fresh".