Bread has long been one of the indispensable foods in our daily life. But have you ever wondered why bread is soft and fluffy nowadays? The secret behind that is bread improver. Bread improver is considered essential for the mass production of bread because it facilitates the alteration of dough properties and improves the quality and texture of bread. In this blog, we will expose the truth about bread improvers and learn about their composition and functions.
What Are Bread Improvers?
When manufacturing baked goods such as bread and biscuits, some chemicals need to be added in order to improve the properties, processing performance, and product quality of the dough. These chemical components are generally called dough improvers. Bread improver is also known as a yeast food, dough conditioner, dough improver, etc.
Bread improvers are mostly composed of enzymes, oxidants, and reducing agents, as well as various emulsifiers, yeast nutrients, and mineral salts. They are used to increase the fermentation speed and improve the strength and workability of the dough.
What Are the Two Roles of Bread Improvers in Dough?
Bread improvers serve two main functions in dough: stimulating and promoting yeast fermentation, and aiding in gas retention. Stimulate and Promote Yeast Fermentation: As available sugars are broken down by various enzymes, carbon dioxide is formed in the dough. Bread improvers promote the continuous production of gas throughout the fermentation process until the yeast activity is halted by the high temperatures in the oven.
Aid in Gas Retention: Bread improvers in the dough also help retain gas by quickly altering the gluten structure of the dough, producing a matrix that holds the minimal amount of gas required for dough fermentation.
Main Components of Bread Improvers
When it comes to understanding bread improvers, it is crucial to delve deeper into its chemical composition.
Mono Diglycerides of Fatty Acids (E471), datem emulsifier (e472e), lecithin, and Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate (SSL) E481 are the most common emulsifiers in bread production. These emulsifiers disperse the fat more evenly throughout the dough, helping it capture more of the CO2 produced by the yeast. Common emulsifiers in bread tend to produce finer particles and softer and larger crumbs.
Among them, datem e472e is especially used for crispy bread, with a proportion of 0.2-0.6% of the total weight of flour. SSL e481 is commonly used as an emulsifier in bread dough. Its typical dosage is 0.3%-0.5% of the total flour weight.
Enzymes are also used to improve the processing characteristics of baked goods. Enzymes mainly refer to α-amylase, β-amylase, and Proteases. Yeast naturally produces amylase and protease, but additional amounts can be added to produce a faster, more complete reaction. Amylase breaks down starches in flour into simple sugars, allowing yeast to ferment quickly. Proteases improve dough extensibility by degrading some of the gluten. Other baking enzymes include fungal a-Amylase, glucose oxidase lipase, maltogenic amylase, xylanase, bacterial hemicellulase, etc.
Oxidizing and Reducing Agents
Oxidizing Agent: The oxidizing agent can not only oxidize SH to SS, which enhances the air retention and gluten strength of the dough, but also reduces the extensibility. It can also inhibit the decomposition of flour protease, thus reducing the decomposition and destruction of gluten. Common oxidizing agents include ascorbic acid, potassium bromate, and potassium iodate.
Reducing Agents: Reducing agents helps weaken flour by disrupting protein networks. This will help with all aspects of strong dough. The benefits of adding a reducing agent are decreased mixing time, reduced dough elasticity, shortened proofing time, and improved workability. Common reducing agents include L-cysteine, fumaric acid, and sodium bisulfite.
The Bottom Line
Selecting the appropriate bread improver is of great importance for a baker. Because using one improver that worked well in a specific application may result in over-softening or stiffening of the gluten matrix when used in a different application. This could cause significant and costly problems for the bakery. Therefore, it is essential to choose the correct improver and use it appropriately to achieve success in baking.
As a professional food additive supplier, Chemsino can provide customers with various emulsifiers and enzymes. Welcome to contact us for affordable prices and free samples.