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What Are Common Emulsifiers Used in Dough Conditioners

Emulsifiers play an important role in the baking industry. They act as a kind of dough conditioner that contributes to the elevated quality of bread. Common emulsifiers in dough conditioners involve Mono- and Diglycerides, DATEM, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate (SSL), etc. In this blog, we will explain their respective functions and benefits in detail.

What is Dough Conditioner?

A dough conditioner is also known as a flour treatment agent, improving agent, or bread improver. It is an ingredient or chemical added to bread dough to strengthen its texture or otherwise improve it in some way. (from wikipedia)

Emulsifiers can be considered a type of dough conditioner. In baking, emulsifiers play a significant role in modifying the interactions between water, fats, and proteins in the dough. By doing so, they contribute to the overall quality and texture of the final baked product. Also, emulsifiers can enhance crumb softening and improve the handling properties of the dough, making them a key component of many dough conditioning formulations.

what is dough conditioner

What is the Function of Emulsifiers in Dough Conditioners?


# Improved Mixing and Dough Handling:

Emulsifiers facilitate the mixing process by reducing friction between dough particles and allowing for better incorporation of ingredients. This results in a smoother and more uniform dough.

# Enhanced Dough Stability:

Food emulsifiers contribute to the stability of the dough by improving the water absorption capacity of flour. This leads to better dough consistency and handling properties, making it easier for bakers to work with.

# Increased Shelf Life:

Emulsifiers can help extend the shelf life of baked products by improving their moisture retention. This helps prevent staling and maintains freshness over a more extended period.

# Crumb Softening:

Certain emulsifiers, like mono- and diglycerides, contribute to crumb softening. They interfere with gluten formation, leading to a softer and more tender crumb texture in the final baked product.

# Dough Strengthening:

Emulsifiers such as DATEM enhance dough strength by interacting with proteins, especially gluten-forming proteins. This results in improved dough elasticity and the ability to trap and retain gases during fermentation, leading to increased volume in the final product.

Common Emulsifiers Used in Dough

According to the different characteristics of emulsifiers in bread, they are typically classified into two categories: crumb softening and dough strengthening.

Crumb Softening:

1. Role: Crumb softening is a desirable characteristic in many baked goods, such as bread, cakes, and pastries. It refers to the tenderness and softness of the interior structure of the baked product.
2. Mechanism: Crumb softening is often achieved by interfering with the gluten network formation during dough mixing and the subsequent baking process. Emulsifiers that contribute to crumb softening typically work by weakening the gluten structure, allowing for a softer and more delicate crumb texture.
3. Examples of Emulsifiers for Crumb Softening:
Mono- and Diglycerides: These are glycerol esters of fatty acids. Mono- and diglycerides act as effective emulsifiers that contribute to crumb softening by interfering with gluten formation. They can also improve the dough's handling properties.
Lecithin: Derived from sources like soybeans, lecithin acts as an emulsifier. This natural emulsifier helps create a stable emulsion in the dough, leading to improved softness and tenderness in the crumb.

emulsifier in bread

Dough Strengthening:

1. Role: Dough strengthening is important for providing structure and stability to the dough, especially in yeast-leavened products like bread. It helps the dough retain gas produced during fermentation, leading to improved volume and texture in the final product.
2. Mechanism: Dough strengthening involves enhancing the gluten network, which is crucial for trapping and retaining carbon dioxide gas. Emulsifiers that strengthen the dough often interact with proteins, particularly gluten-forming proteins, to improve their elasticity and strength.
3. Examples of Emulsifiers for Dough Strengthening:
DATEM (Diacetyl Tartaric Acid Esters of Monoglycerides): DATEM e472e acts as a dough strengthener and conditioner that strengthens the gluten network. DATEM emulsifier improves the stability of the dough, leading to better volume and texture in the baked product.
SSL (Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate): SSL e481 is both a dough conditioner and an emulsifier. It helps to enhance the elasticity of the dough, leading to improved volume and texture in baked goods.
Calcium Stearoyl-2-Lactylate: Similar to SSL, CSL emulsifier is used as a dough conditioner to strengthen gluten. This improvement in gluten structure enhances dough elasticity, contributing to better texture and structure in the final bread product.

Both crumb softening and dough strengthening are important considerations in the formulation of baked goods. The choice of emulsifiers depends on the specific characteristics desired in the final product. Bread emulsifiers play a crucial role in achieving the desired texture, mouthfeel, and overall quality of baked items.

Final Thoughts

In essence, emulsifiers play an irreplaceable role in contemporary baking. It is useful in enhancing the overall quality of baked products. By understanding the role of emulsifiers in dough conditioners, bakers can craft delightful and appealing baked goods more easily.

Chemsino Enterprise is a professional food ingredients wholesale supplier and maker in China. We can provide a vast of emulsifiers like Propylene Glycol(MPG), Distilled Monoglycerides(DMG), Polysorbate80, etc. If you need these food additives, please contact us for detailed quotes and free samples.
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