Translucency in tortillas

by Laurie Gorton
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Tortilla consumers can be picky, and they like products with an opaque appearance. Translucent spots don’t appeal to them.

Opacity results from the presence of gas bubbles within the dough, noted Sharon Book, PhD, bakery technologist, ICL Food Specialties. “SALP minimizes translucency and produces a more opaque tortilla compared with SAS and SAPP-28,” she said, describing recent research. Besides the visual properties, SALP also improves the physical characteristics, resulting in larger diameter products than the other two leavening acids.

Translucency indicates areas that are more doughy, receiving less heat during processing. They typically occur near dark spots — the tops of large air bubbles that were exposed to the hot griddle or oven hearth for a longer time. Optimizing the leavening system evens out the size of gas bubbles and distributes them more uniformly within the dough. This also allows the thickest and largest diameter.

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