Bakery improver enlists in the war against staling

by Laurie Gorton
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It seems like bakers are always fighting the good fight for better shelf life. The ideal baked food should always taste fresh from the bread oven or donut fryer whenever the consumer eats it. That’s not easy to do, but now bakery formulators have a new ally in MicroGold, a bakery improver with emulsifying properties from MicroGold Ingredients.

“MicroGold’s innovation is the bond it creates within dough products that serves as a barrier to prevent moisture migration and reduce shortening absorption in finished, prepared and reheated products,” said Len Geller, company president. “The result is products that last longer, remain fresher and deliver a better experience for consumers.”

The improver cuts moisture migration in finished products by up to 95%. The increased interior moisture levels enable baked foods to stay fresh longer, with improved product appearance, texture and mouthfeel. MicroGold controls shortening absorption as well. For fried goods, Mr. Geller estimated a drop of 50% or more in fat uptake and an accompanying cut in calories. The benefits extend to the consumer, too, because eating qualities are retained after freezing and microwaving.

MicroGold is composed of all-natural components, compatible with bakery ingredients. It provides a combination of hydrophilic and hydrophobic properties and acts like an emulsifier.

Originally developed to improve the performance of microwaved baked goods, MicroGold is now finding use in a wide range of bakery products made in centralized production and distribution systems.

Consider donuts: The market has changed. “The big names in donuts now operate in a different way than they did a decade ago,” Mr. Geller said. As a former Dunkin’ Donuts executive, he knows this market well. “These companies often use commissaries or central production facilities to supply supermarkets, c-stores and similar outlets. They even stock their own shops this way.” Others also freeze their raw and finished donuts to take advantage of production and distribution economies. Their customers benefit by cutting overhead, ingredient and labor costs.

“But the resulting donut has to be just as attractive in eating quality and appearance at 30 hours as it is at one hour out of the fryer,” he continued. “We believe we can offer these characteristics through use of MicroGold.”

It’s not just donuts that benefit. The company noted applications in freshly baked, refrigerated, frozen and microwavable cakes, cookies, breads and pizzas, among others.

As a bakery ingredient, MicroGold experienced several iterations to emerge as a multi-product improver. The company put it through a full battery of tests at AIB International and Oklahoma State University as well as its own lab. It used consumer focus groups and instrument analyses to gauge the appearance, texture, mouthfeel and overall freshness perceptions of cake and yeast donuts at one hour, 20 hours and 30 hours.

To put the improver to work, the company’s technical experts consult with the customers’ formulators to optimize uses. “Each baker has unique product characteristics,” Mr. Geller said. “We work with the customer to make the adjustments in their formulas to address the desired product characteristics.”

MicroGold is made by a proprietary process and formula. To help users correctly identify its components on finished product ingredient statements, the company will release product content information on a confidential basis. For more about the development, testing and applications for MicroGold, visit
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