While dough conditioners come in handy when providing necessary strength to a dough, they can do a lot more as well.

“Dough conditioners can help with achieving product consistency, which is a major issue for some bakers,” said Tisa Drew, product development manager, Innophos. “Consistency in your appearance and quality characteristics of your product is key.”

Much of that has to do with the fact that dough conditioners aren’t dependent on a crop that fluctuates year-to-year like gluten and flour.

“Some years Mother Nature will give you a lot of strength and water-holding, and the dough strength will be really powerful,” said Tess Brensing, senior product manager, functional systems, Corbion. “And some years you might not have that strength, and you’ll need to supplement with added gluten or pay more for higher quality flour.”

This not only has implications for the final product quality but also production efficiencies and skilled labor.

“Maintaining consistency is important because it gives bakers confidence that they do not have to make many absorption and mixing adjustments over time,” said David (Guilley) Guilfoyle, senior group manager, bakery/fats and oils, IFF.

Beyond consistency in product and process, dough conditioners deliver several other benefits to the dough than just strength.

“On top of gluten reduction, they can increase loaf volume and oven spring, enhance dough stability and machining, create a finer grain and benefit product shelf life,” said Ben Reusser, senior research development technologist, Cain Food Industries.

Replacing gluten with a dough conditioner allows bakers to go back to the drawing board and ask how they could improve their product.

“If looking to reduce your reliance on gluten, bakers should work backwards and ask themselves, ‘What characteristics does my product currently have, and what do I want my product to do?’ ” said Daniel Marciani, research manager, bakery, Glanbia Nutritionals. “Am I just looking to reduce gluten, or do I want to extend shelf life or improve texture?”

With their goals in mind, bakers will be able to choose the right dough conditioner.

This article is an excerpt from the March 2022 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the entire feature on Dough Conditioners, click here.