Enzymes answer the need to clean up ingredient lists for many bread varieties.

Formulating cleaner-label breads involves understanding of each ingredient’s unique function.

“When you’re thinking about dough tolerance, it starts at the mixing bowl and goes all the way to the finished product,” said Jesse Stinson, application manager, sweet bakery goods, Corbion Caravan. “It’s important to start with an optimized formula and properly develop the dough during mixing to get the best possible dough machinability and strength.

“Dough goes through a significant amount of stress during processing,” she added, “so it is important to have the right dough conditioners in the formula that can handle this stress and still get a nice-looking loaf of bread.”

Many traditionally used dough conditioners don’t make the clean-label cut because they are based on a system of additives, some with long chemical names, according to Bradley Cain, vice-president, R&D, Cain Food Industries Inc. “Enzymes are a great clean-label alternative. They allow bakers to eliminate many of the traditional chemical emulsifiers and strengtheners used in dough conditioners.

“For the most part, enzymes are very stable and do not react with other ingredients before being hydrated,” he continued. “We even have a blend specifically for frozen products. These enzymes provide the tolerance required during the frozen state to produce quality finished baked goods.”

Enzymes can also manage firmness, resilience and adhesiveness. “Texture is another characteristic that may be controlled with enzymes,” Ms. Stinson said.

We’ve formulated enzyme systems that enable bakers to reduce the number of ingredients in 100% whole wheat bread from 17 to 13,” she said. “Advances in enzyme technology can be very helpful with simplifying the ingredient statement of all types of baked goods.”