Functional ingredients such as dough conditioners are fundamental additions for many snack and bakery products. Dough conditioners, like enzymes and emulsifiers, help improve product quality, extend shelf life, streamline dough handling and machinability, and more.

The challenge these days is often for these ingredients to deliver the desired functionality along with a clean label, without compromising on the sensory qualities of the product. Available dough conditioners can offer these benefits, and few new innovative plant-based options are also cropping up.


Plant-based functionality

Renmatix, King of Prussia, PA, is a purpose-driven company whose mission is to identify and produce natural, sustainable, environmentally friendly products. The company recently introduced it latest plant-based innovation called Nouravant, an ingredient that was recognized by IBIE and SF&WB in the 2019 BEST in Baking Program. The ingredient is produced using the company’s patented Plantrose process, which extracts the ingredient from plant-based materials using only water. It provides manufacturers with a unique, multifunctional ingredient that can deliver a variety of benefits in food applications.

“It acts as a very strong emulsifier, which is an important part of most food groups,” says Mike Hamilton, CEO, Renmatix. “In the case of bakery specifically, we’re able to take out undesired emulsifiers which are currently used. For example, in large industrial settings, companies often use chemicals like mono- and diglycerides for emulsification benefits. We’ve shown they can be replaced using Nouravant as an emulsifier.”

Hamilton elaborates on additional functional benefits this new ingredient can provide:

  • Vegan and allergen-free: can replace egg whites in a snack bar formula, and has been used to replace eggs in brownies and cookies
  • Freshness extender: increases water holding, allowing for a longer shelf life for freshly baked products like soft pretzels and doughnuts
  • Clean label: can replace mono- and diglycerides for a clean-label product, and has been used to remove gums in products like doughnuts             

Nouravant is labeled as “maple fiber.” It’s non-allergenic, non-GMO, gluten-free, vegan, and free from artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

In addition to its BEST in Baking recognition from IBIE and SF&WB, Renmatix was recently named a winner of the prestigious 2020 Edison Awards in the Energy & Sustainability category. The Edison Awards recognize those companies that are demonstrating “best in class” innovation.

Citrus is another plant-based source of functional ingredients. Fiberstar, River Falls, WI, offers a line of natural citrus fibers called Citri-Fi that can be used as dough conditioners because of their emulsification properties. “As an emulsifier, this natural ingredient can be used to replace mono- and diglycerides and lecithin in baked goods,” says Brock Lundberg, Ph.D., president of R&D. “The reason Citri-Fi citrus fiber functions as an emulsifier is because of its native pectin and protein matrix. These components, in addition to the fiber’s porous cell structure, which provide high surface area, bind many types of fats and oils. The water-loving properties of Citri-Fi result from its large soluble fiber content which is about 40 percent of the total fiber amount. Because of Citri-Fi’s natural composition and overall stability, this natural citrus fiber emulsifies many types of liquid oils and fats in a wide range of temperature conditions.” As a result, this improves the freshness of the baked good over the shelf life of the product.

Lundberg highlights other functional benefits of Citri-Fi specific to baked goods:

  • Improved freshness and moistness
  • Increased usable levels of water and oil without compromising machinability
  • Fat replacement
  • Ability to use more liquid oils rather than solid fats
  • Improved heat stability
  • Improved finished product stability
  • Reduced egg usage

Citri-Fi is best suited for applications such as bread, muffins, cakes, and soft cookies, as those applications contain more water. It’s also suitable for products that use minimal or no water, such as hard cookies or biscuits where the ingredient helps provide binding and strength.


Clean conditioning

Lesaffre, Milwaukee, WI, recently introduced several new functional ingredients. Ralf Tschenscher, baking business development manager, shares details about the new products:

  • SafPro StarZyme STR 601: enzyme blend for dough strengthening, provides additional tolerance with existing dough improvers without the use of DATEM, ascorbic acid, or azodicarbonamide
  • SafPro Improver Frozen 3.1: enhances dough tolerance during freezing, strengthens dough, improves gas retention within dough, and improves the volume of baguettes, bagels, pizza crusts, and breads
  • SafPro Improver Freezer to Oven 3.1: improves the freezer shelf life and oven spring, improves gas retention, strengthens dough, and improves the volume of baguettes, croissants, Danishes, breadsticks, crusty rolls, cinnamon rolls, and pizza crusts

Lesaffre notes that the market is seeing increased demand for organic products. The company recently introduced a two new organic-compliant ingredients:

  • SafPro Organic Volume 3.2: improves dough strength and volume
  • SafPro Softness 3.2+V: provides shelf life extension and some strength to the dough

DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences, New Century, KS, offers POWERBake 6000, a range of enzyme-based ingredients that improve dough handling and deliver a fine, uniform crumb structure while reducing the dependence on chemical emulsification. The product line includes three different offerings: POWERBake 6100, 6200 and 6300. Janelle Crawford, regional marketing lead, cultures, food enzymes and food protection, outlines the features and benefits of these ingredients:

  • The ability to formulate with functional equivalence to traditional chemical emulsifiers
  • Provides dough strength through proofing and good oven spring
  • Tightens crumb structure, improves crumb color, and adds resilience

This means that bakers can enjoy the following benefits to their finished products and overall business:

  • Effective solutions to meet their own clean-label initiatives
  • Versatile and consistent production
  • Improved robustness
  • Improves or achieves volume target
  • More-desirable appearance

POWERBake 6200 is best suited for white and whole-wheat bread products, whereas POWERBAKE 6200 and 6300 are designed for bun and roll applications.

Corbion, Lenexa, KS, has a line of clean-label dough strengtheners, called Pristine, available in a variety of bases, mixes, and individual functional ingredients that are designed to address clean-label needs. “Pristine sets a high standard for dough functionality, offering bakery manufacturers an easy method of simplifying labels and reducing or eliminating variations by providing better machinability and oven spring, and increased loaf volume,” shares Kathy Sargent, global strategic innovation director.

Natural emulsifiers help optimize the mixing process, while reducing the clumping associated with scaling, which can occur at the bowl, says Sargent. She notes that Pristine delivers strong performance and simplified labels. Pristine systems can be used in a wide variety of applications, including breads, buns and rolls, and bagels, including artisan products.

Brolite, Bartlett, IL, also recently introduced new clean label dough conditioners. Jeff Nelson, vice president of Western sales, shares the details:

  • MBC 125: a highly concentrated dough conditioner used in the production of straight dough pan bread, as well as hot dog and hamburger buns, run on a high-speed line, offering great volume, tolerance, and product consistency without the needs for sponges
  • NYR: a conditioner that reduces the mix time needed to develop a dough, along with allowing the dough to be more extensible, and it can be used in any dough that calls for more spread without getting snapback
  • Stretch and Stay: an exciting new products that helps eliminate snapback in pie crusts, as well as flatbreads, tortillas, and pizza crusts

As suppliers continue to innovate and introduce new functional dough conditioners, including a wider range of clean-label options, snack producers and bakers will be able to offer more products that satisfy evolving consumer desires, thereby potentially growing market share and presence.