The latest innovations in dough conditioners strive to meet bakers' needs of improving products while simultaneously reducing costs and achieving clean label status.
Every change to a formula brings more changes further along in the production process. Consumer trends often dictate such changes, and as a result, more bakers are turning to dough conditioners to manufacture products customers want, such as clean labels.
AB Mauri Fleischmann's, Chesterfield, Mo., offers a variety of dough improvers from oxidation to extended shelf life. “Bakers want to optimize each ingredient in their formulation and streamline wherever possible,” says Nicole Rees, research and development manager. “We have developed ingredients that can help reduce bakers' dependence on gluten and emulsifiers. The most recent trend has been the need for an all-purpose general strengthening dough improver that is entirely separate from the oxidation system.”
Looking at both the cost and ease of use, Puratos Corp., Cherry Hill, N.J., offers improver solutions that do not require re-engineering the whole improver system. “We can work on one characteristic of the bread without affecting the rest of the product. Whether a customer is searching for clean label improvers, an extended shelf life dough conditioner or improved texture in their product, Puratos offers individual solutions to optimize product performance,” says Richard Leboucher, vice president, research and development.
While best known for providing a range of yeast products, Lesaffre/Red Star Yeast Co., Milwaukee, also offers an extensive line of dough conditioners. Arnaud Deniaud, director of technical services, says the foodservice segment especially has a need to hold down costs by optimizing on-site baking. In response, Lesaffre developed a product that blends instant dry yeast and dough conditioner in a vacuum pack with a long shelf life.
“Having the yeast and dough conditioner blended together in the exact formulation provides repeatable control over the formula, whether the end product is baked in Indonesia or Canada,” Deniaud says.
MGP Ingredients' wheat protein isolates and concentrates are increasingly used as cost-saving conditioners.
One MGP product finding wide use as a dough conditioner is Arise® 5000 wheat protein isolate. “It provides a lot of added extensibility to dough,” says Steve Ham, director of marketing for the Atchison, Kan.-based company. “Added at about 1 to 1.5 percent flour weight basis, Arise 5000 helps a dough develop faster, helps give a fine cell structure and good symmetry. It performs as a moisture and fat barrier due to its unique film-forming properties that increase product yields, enhance crispness and extend product shelf life, all of which help reduce waste and therefore reduce cost to the baker.”
The elusive clean label
Aside from making labels easier to read for the end consumer, Joel Payne, manager-corporate food technology, bakery team, the Kroger Co., Cincinnati, says, “We stick with minimal conditioners because aside from having a very clean label, the simpler your system is, the less trouble you have in production. If you have to go back through layer upon layer of dough improvers to find the source of a problem in production, it can be a real task.”
To address the clean label trend, Lesaffre has developed a dough conditioner that uses fewer ingredients and more natural sources. “We have developed Minute Bread™, which is a certified kosher parve, clean label dough conditioner that improves the consistency and quality of the dough. It is the cleanest product you can get. It is the blend of ascorbic acid and non-genetically modified enzymes,” Deniaud says.
Enzymes for sweets
Sweetgoods manufacturers are expressing growing interest in enzyme-based dough improvers. Using enzymes in bread making has become standard, but it is fairly new in cake and pastry production. “The sweetgoods sector will experience the same pressure to streamline and optimize formulas. Since sweetgoods typically have a long list of ingredients, there's a lot of opportunity in this area,” Rees says. “In the past, few enzymes worked successfully in cakes, which is no longer the case. The technology has changed a lot, allowing us to improve the eating quality of sweetgoods over time.”
Many bakeries are moving into the frozen bakery product category to meet demand from the in-store and foodservice bakery markets, and they need dough conditioners that work for frozen bakery foods.
“Lesaffre's Ibis® line of conditioners addresses the needs of par-bake, freezer-to-oven and raw frozen dough. Our XtendLife® is a patented shelf life extender for packaged baked products. We also provide dough conditioners specifically for many custom applications,” Deniaud says.
Retarded dough is another process with specific challenges. While retarding, the dough is placed in a cooler to stop the fermentation process and delay proofing. “The issue with the retarded dough is that over a period of time, blisters can form on the finished products. That is not very appealing to the consumer, and we have developed a special dough conditioner to eliminate those blisters. It is our SAF Pro® Croustilis®,” Deniaud says.
Moving into frozen
Puratos Frozen Solutions covers the four main frozen technologies: unfermented frozen, pre-fermented frozen (freezer-to-oven), par-baked and fully baked frozen. The company recently introduced “Kimo Intens” for the frozen bakery industry. According to Leboucher, the solution helps limit the number of additives in a product, reduce formula costs and protect yeast during the freezer shelf life. “The frozen bakery industry is a world of rigorous demands, and our objective is for customers to achieve optimum product quality day after day,” Leboucher says.
As for MGP, Ham notes that Arise 5000 is finding wide use in the frozen and par-bake area. “It helps maintain strength in the process. As for end product attributes, one of the main benefits of Arise 5000 is to help with the freezer life and maintain the cell structure properties through the freeze-thaw cycle,” he says.