How can we prevent our apple pie filling going mouldy within a few days

If you do not want to alter the eating quality of the apple pie filling the easiest course of action is to add preservative. For example, adding 150 ppm potassium sorbate to the filling should extend its mould-free shelf-life to seven or eight days. However, for small batches of about 3.5 kg the quantity of sorbate involved is only about 0.53 g. The easiest way of adding such a small quantity of preservative would be for you to make up a bulk mix of sugar and potassium sorbate. For a recipe with 0.5 kg sugar per 3.5 kg batch of filling, each 0.5 kg of sugar in the bulk mix should contain 0.53 g sorbate. Thus if you make up 12.5 kg (28 lb) of bulk mix it should contain 13 g (0.5 oz) of potassium sorbate. It is essential that you mix the sugar and the sorbate very thoroughly, for example by mixing at slow speed for at least half an hour. You could then weigh off appropriate portions of the mix for each fresh batch of filling.

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