Getting louder, the drumbeat for clean label resounds more forcefully each day. Bakers and their ingredient suppliers hear the message clearly, and now they have more ways to answer the call.

“Consumers want clean-label products, and they increasingly request these from bakers,” said Ralph Besand, regional manager, Cain Food Industries, Inc., Dallas, TX. The company has fielded a rising number of inquiries about clean-label ingredients from its bakery customers. He observed that big food service chains also want clean-label foods from their bakery suppliers.

“We need to be proactive with our customers,” Mr. Besand said about the company’s decision to offer improver ingredients developed to meet clean-label protocols.


With a deep background in functional bakery ingredients, Cain Food Industries took on the challenge to develop clean-label alternatives. Mr. Besand and a team of his colleagues accepted this task. “All of us have been in the baking industry for a long time,” observed Frank Sberna, another of Cain Food’s regional managers, about the expertise involved with this project.

Several options resulted, but the team recommends CL-SAS, Oxibake CL and CLDC, three dough conditioners that are a package of enzymes capable of replacing any dough conditioner or strengthener. Their use removes azodicarbonamide (ADA), sodium stearoyl lactylate (SSL), diacetyl tartaric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides (DATEM) and similar additives from bakery formulations.

“All three products can be listed on the package’s ingredient statement as enzymes,” Mr. Besand said, “but they are properly considered processing aids and exempt from listing. It all depends on what the bakery’s regulatory affairs department prefers.”

Applications run the gamut of yeast-raised baked foods: breads, buns, rolls and “anything that uses multiple dough conditioners,” Mr. Sberna said. Usage rates range from 1 to 12 oz per cwt flour, depending on the choice of product. Mixing and processing conditions stay the same. Most bakers will be able to make the switch without other changes, although Mr. Besand cautioned that they may need to re­balance water because the proportion of dry ingredients could differ.

Confirming the benefits took about a week’s work in a commercial bakery, according to Mr. Sberna. “It’s pretty easy to make the change,” he said.


Because these clean-label products remove conventional dough conditioners from the formula, they also reduce costs. “Savings come to $1 to $3 per cwt flour,” Mr. Besand said. The lower figure applies to lean formulations, the higher for heavier products. “By heavy, I mean multigrain breads,” he added. “Those are the ones with the most savings potential.”

Developing clean-label ingredients was a natural fit for Cain Food. The company supplies functional bakery additives: dough conditioners, enzymes, oxidizing and reducing agents, emulsifiers, softeners,
yeast foods, preservatives and bases.

“Cain Food is customer-focused, and we want to provide our customers the best products and at the same time help them save money,” said Matt Feder, Cain Food’s vice-president, business development.

“CL-SAS, Oxibake CL and CLDC provide the biggest savings we’ve seen yet and perform wonderfully.”

“Adopting these ingredients will require a label change, and this is a cost for bakers on their packaging materials,” Mr. Besand said. “But if you’re planning a package change anyway, you may as well ‘come clean,’ too.” Baking companies recognize that they have to think ahead, he noted, and that they need to run tests now to be ready for such changes when the times dictate.

Cain Food technical experts will work with customers to solve clean-label formulating needs. For more reference materials about its products, go