The global exclusive rights to Lactobacillus reuterii based ingredient, Reuteran, are up for grabs, with the researchers stressing that it has shown ability in pilot trials to compensate gluten strength and to overcome stickiness problems of the dough in bread recipes using reduced salt.
The group claims Reuteran could be marketed as a prebiotic fibre that acts as a bread improver at the same time.
The addition of fibres to bread creates a number of hurdles in terms of processing, product quality and shelf life, but TNO claims Reuteran acts synergistically to wheat gluten, and thus improves the volume of the bread and the crumb softness. “It also helps to retain this softness better during storage.”
Martijn Noort from TNO Quality of Life told BakeryandSnacks.com that Reuteran could potentially be used with a range of baked goods but, he stressed, that due to its synergy with gluten, it has added value in products with a developed gluten network.
Adding Reuteran in a white bread recipe was reported to result in a higher bread volume compared to a reference without any bread improvers. This increase was not noticed using other polysaccharides like dextran or polydextrose, said the group.
TNO said the in house trials indicated that storage for seven days at 20°C did not result in any major differences in crumb softness as bread made with Novamyl, amylase and glycerol mono stearate.
Noort explained that the Dutch group, beyond the improvement of the gluten network, did not yet fully understand the mechanism by which Reuteran improved bread volume and crumb or helped overcome the stickiness problems related to salt reduction.He said that the most likely explanation for its ability to retard staling was better water retention.
The Dutch group said that Lactobacillus reuterii is able to produce glucans and fructans during fermentation of sucrose, and that this application of this lactobacillus or its membrane bound sucrases in sourdough or pre-ferments may offer new opportunities to develop clean label bread improvers.