The natural aspects of enzymes fit bakery formulas well. Wheat and other cereal grains contain many naturally occurring enzymes that carry over into flour.

“The bakers’ most useful enzymes are types endogenous in wheat such as amylase,” said Brian Fatula, vice-president, baking enzymes, DSM Food Specialties USA, Inc., South Bend, Ind.

Also present in wheat are xylanases, proteases, lipases, phosphatases, cellulases and oxidases. And when yeast is added to the formula, it brings glutathione to the mix. It’s these types, underused in the past, that now open doors, especially the ones leading to clean labels.

Proteases, for example, may replace sulfite and cysteine, said Joseph Herzog, technical sales director, Enzyme Development Corp., New York. They also yield faster mix times and produce softer, more pliable doughs, better pan flow and darker crusts. He noted that botanical proteases (bromelain and papain) produce extensive effects on gluten, while fungal proteases are more widely used.

“Their limited action on gluten is best for most types of baked goods like bread and rolls,” he said.

In the United States and Japan, where bread flour tends to be high in protein, proteases may answer the problem of “bucky” doughs by increasing the dough extensibility, recommended Frank Devos, vice-president of R.&D., Puratos USA, Cherry Hill, N.J.

Lipases, specifically phospholipases, were cited by Jan Van Eijk, bakery research director, Lallemand Baking Solutions, Montreal, for their ability to replace emulsifiers such as DATEM and SSL.

“If the emulsifier requirement is high, as with most whole wheat bread applications, at least part of the emulsifier can be replaced cost-effectively by phospholipase,” he noted, “but the total replacement in a clean-label application sometimes means higher costs because of the extra substrate (lecithin) that may need to be added.”