Bakers can cut calcium propionate levels and reduce yeast in bread products by using encapsulated ­fumaric acid, according to an independent research study done at Kansas State University’s Department of Grain Science and Industry, Manhattan, KS.


Clabber Girl Corp., Terre Haute, IN, released the results of the study lead by Rebecca Miller, PhD, director of KSU’s Wheat Quality Lab and research assistant professor. The work explored the company’s InnovaFresh Encapsulated Fumaric Acid in yeast-raised goods. The work confirmed that its use allows formulators to cut calcium propionate in half and reduce yeast requirements by 10%.


These cuts have significant cost implications for price-sensitive bakery applications. “Based on current ingredient costs, the savings a commercial baker could realize from the lower yeast and calcium propionate levels approach $3 per 1,000 loaves,” said Nita Livvix, Clabber Girl’s director of R&D. “That could add up to savings of $80,000 annually for a typical commercial baker.”


Enhancing shelf life


Fumaric acid is an acidulant that lowers the pH in baked products, thus optimizing the use of preservatives such as calcium propionate. “This makes it possible for the baker to use less preservative and still maintain quality and shelf life,” Ms. Livvix observed.


“Another benefit of using less preservative is optimal yeast activity,” she continued. “Preservatives such as calcium propionate often hinder yeast activity. This makes it possible for the baker to also reduce the amount of yeast typically used.” When not encapsulated, fumaric acid will slow the propagation rate of bakers yeast, necessitating ­additional yeast in the formula or more time in the proofer.


The Kansas State study also verified that use of encapsulated fumaric acid takes as much as five minutes off proofing time. “The reduction in proof time can equate to either increased bread production rates or decreased input costs through labor, energy and facility overhead savings, depending on the goals of the baker,” Ms. Livvix said.


The study used a control formula for conventional white bread, prepared in pup loaves following the AACC International Method 10-10.03 straight-dough procedure. The control used 2.0% instant active yeast and 0.5% calcium propionate. The test formula was done with 1.8% instant active dry yeast, 0.25% calcium propionate and 0.25% encapsulated fumaric acid. All percentages are reported on flour weight basis, a.k.a. bakers percent. Researchers reported no effects on optimum water absorption or mix time and no noticeable differences in dough handling after mixing or during processing.


Quality measures such as proof height, loaf volume and crumb grain of the test bread formula compared favorably to the control formula. Additionally, no mold was visible on any of the loaves on days one to 15 after baking, which confirmed an earlier study done by AIB International, Manhattan, KS, that showed optimized shelf life.


Clabber Girl uses a proprietary encapsulation method to protect the fumaric acid. The coating consists of mixed fats that resist melting until the dough matrix reaches a certain temperature in the oven and about the time that heat has inactivated the yeast. Only then is the acid — and its antimicrobial activity — released.


Suitable for use


Clabber Girl noted that the InnovaFresh Encapsulated Fu-maric Acid used in the test formula is considered an acceptable ingredient for use in products sold in Whole Foods supermarkets.


Bakery customers have shown much interest in this product because of its money-saving potential, according to Ms. Livvix. “Bread manufacturers are current customers, but we’ve had several other manufacturers of different applications showing interest,” she noted.


Clabber Girl is working on the launch of other such products that may be introduced at the International Baking Industry Exposition, set for Oct. 6-9 at Las Vegas.


For more information about the InnovaFresh product, visit