In the United States, enzymes are considered processing aids, which need not be named in the ingredient legends printed on food packages. The possible exceptions are some heat-stable enzymes that are not completely inactivated during baking, said Jan van Eijk, research director, baking ingredients, Lallemand Baking Solutions.

“The use of enzymes may or may not be indicated on the ingredient statement, depending on common or company practice,” he said. For example, protease in crackers is almost always reported in the ingredient statement.

“Sometimes, there is a regulatory requirement,” Mr. van Eijk noted. “For example, in Canada, the use of asparaginase to reduce acrylamide formation in baked goods must be declared on the ingredient legend.”

The timing of the enzyme’s desired activity may guide the baker’s decision whether to label its presence or not.

“If an enzyme improves processing and has no after-bake technical or functional effect, it is fair to suggest it is a processing aid and exempt from ingredient declaration,” said Barry Clayton, senior vice-president, AB Mauri North America. “However, if it’s used to deliver a product quality advantage after baking, such as extended softening, it is difficult to argue that the enzyme is just a processing aid. We strongly suggest that bakers seek their own legal advice.”

Frozen dough presents a similar situation.

“Declaration on the ingredient legend is required for frozen bread that needs to be baked at a consumer’s home,” said Defne Saral, global marketing manager, food enzymes, DuPont Nutrition & Health. “In this instance, the enzyme has yet to perform.”