Belgian bakery ingredients specialist Puratos Group has developed a new enzyme improver for part-baked frozen (PBF) bakery products.
PBF products allow bakers to fulfil demand for freshly baked bread at short-notice by rebaking a partially baked product to form colour and crust, where the challenge involves producing similar quality bread to that made by conventional direct-baking methods.
Puratos UK spokesman George Spain told BakeryandSnacks.com that with trends in bakery, as elsewhere within the food industry, moving towards clean-label products, demand has grown for enzyme-based improvers. He explained that the firm's new improver, Double Bake Acti-Plus, can be used in low concentrations, disappears during proving and reduces the need for traditional chemical emulsifiers.
Spain added that depending on the application, Puratos’ new “fungal and amylase-type” product constitutes between 1-2 per cent of total flour weight, and is especially well-suited for use in baguettes, crusty rolls and tin loafs.
Lower emulsifier use
“This is fairly new technology in that we’re using enzyme solutions rather than traditional emulsifiers – the latter are still there but in lower quantities,” said Spain.
The firm claim that the improver is suitable for par-baked products in modified atmosphere packaging, while Spain outlined some other advantages: “Improvements are also apparent in staling using Acti-Plus: shelf life remains around 1-2 days, but the bread is in much better condition using this solution.”
Crust flaking is a particular problem in part-prepared frozen products, and according to Puratos, using Acti-Plus results in limits crust flaking after the first bake, reduces side collapsing of bread and provides “good oven jump and excellent cut definition”.
The firm says that use of a good quality improver in PBF products should ensure that: “The surface of the part-baked items remains flexible upon freezing, in order to avoid excessive crust flaking after the final (second) bake.”
Clean label advantage
Explaining the advantages of enzymes as clean-label improver solutions, Spain said Puratos has developed its Roma variation on Acti-Plus with this in mind, where vitamin C and emulsifiers have been cut out completely.
With potential applications as wide-ranging as toasted bread, baguettes, sweet bread and Danish pastries, Spain said Prima Acti-Plus Roma incorporates a “natural sourdough flavour, which means a slightly higher enzyme count of between 1.5 to 3 per cent”.
“As a clean label improver it’s of clear interest to standard bakeries, but also leading retailers who desire such a solution, for instance Sainsbury’s in the UK.”
Puratos says it acquired new insights into causes and effects of flaking, which it says is “one of the main drawbacks” of PBF bakery products, after participating in the EU-funded ‘Freshbake’ project between industry and academe that finished last year.