A fundamental ingredient in many snack and bakery products that helps with heavy lifting are leaveners. Leavening agents help create the textural quality in many baked goods. There are three main classifications of leavening agents: biological, chemical, and physical. Some of the trends seen in today’s marketplace include a move toward cleaner labels and non-GMO.

Bill Hanes, vice president marketing and strategy, Lesaffre, Milwaukee, WI, notes clean-label trends are still on the rise, reaching even leavening agents used in bread and baked goods. He points toward data from an Allied Market Research report that projects the clean-label ingredient market will reach $64.1 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 6.8 percent from 2019 to 2026.


Optimizing leavening performance

Cam Suarez-Bitar, director of marketing and public relations, Bellarise, Pasadena, CA, notes the entire Bellarise yeast portfolio is clean label and non-GMO. All of the company’s yeasts are raised on clean label, all-natural, non-GMO beet molasses. This provides a point of difference, since some other yeasts on the market are raised on high-fructose corn syrup.

The company recently introduced Bellarise Semi-Dry Yeast for use in frozen dough. “Semi-dry yeast itself has the longest shelf life of all yeasts used in frozen dough, so bakeries can cut costs while keeping bread quality consistent. Frozen doughs made with Bellarise Semi-Dry Yeast have an extended shelf life of up to one year, which makes bakeries’ production process more flexible and efficient, while ensuring the quality of the final product. Bellarise Semi-Dry Yeast’s gassing power is more consistent throughout the longer shelf life, giving bakers a dough with a more-predictable rise, and it gives breads a better crust and greater volume,” explains Suarez-Bitar.

In addition to providing enhanced product quality and consistency, Bellarise Semi-Dry Yeast helps divide dough more evenly and with more-consistent weight, resulting in less scrap and increased efficiency. The product is easy to use, no thawing is necessary, and it can be added straight to the mix. It is available in both Red and Gold versions and works with any yeast-raised dough, either lean or sweet. The product has a two-year shelf life.

Leavening optimization is of paramount importance in the baking industry. Bartek Ingredients, Stoney Creek, Ontario, recently launched two unique, proprietary ingredient systems: Upscale and Uphold. Both are patent-pending ingredient technologies based on fumaric acid and designed to deliver high-quality breads that enhance shelf life, porosity, sensory characteristics, and the overall eating experience for the consumer while improving volume.

“One of the main challenges faced by bakers today is making yeast leavening more efficient by optimizing the overall development of cell structure (porosity) and volume development while balancing overall bread quality,” says Alejandro J. Perez-Gonzalez, lead technical advisor, bakery innovation, Bartek Ingredients. “Uphold and Upscale both modify dough properties, allowing for increased dough absorption, as well as decreased/reduced mix time.”

Both of these changes can bring about significant reductions in ingredient cost-in-use in the dough formula, as well as improved throughput and efficiencies through the bakery process, says Mohammad Emami, senior product manager, Bartek Ingredients.

“Upscale can be beneficial when either preferment or straight-dough processes are used, and it improves porosity and flavor of straight-dough products to more closely resemble those made with preferments,” says Perez-Gonzalez. “This can enable bakeries to implement artisan bread production, when faced with the processing and throughput challenges of long processes like preferment. This is crucial with transitioning these products from old-style, hand-crafted operations that utilize only minimal ingredients to more-efficient production settings that require more-robust formulas to meet the needs of retail customers. Besides optimizing shelf life, Uphold helps to achieve better volume and product softness, improving overall product quality and consistency.”


Application specifics

These new leavening ingredients from Bartek work well in traditional breads such as pan breads, rolls, and flatbreads, as well as artisan breads like ciabatta and baguettes, and yeast-raised pastries such as croissants, notes Emami. Uphold is suited to use in tortillas to help reach a fine balance of ingredient and processing interactions, which includes leavening and preservation systems, creating palatable and high-quality tortillas.

Lesaffre also offers leavening ingredients specifically designed for tortillas. These options include yeast, baking powder, and dough conditioners/improvers. The company uniquely formulates these ingredients to strengthen doughs, reduce tearing, and improve the overall performance of the tortilla dough.

Lesaffre recently launched Coolsmart Command, a specialty yeast specifically designed for fresh refrigerated doughs. “With Coolsmart Command, doughs have significantly less fermentation activity in a temperature range of 32˚ to 50˚F, thus providing more stability during refrigeration,” says Hanes. “This gives formulators more control and security in chilled dough applications. For the end user, Coolsmart Command provides a level of control closer to frozen doughs but without freezing. By using Coolsmart Command yeast, manufacturers can improve quality management and increase the transport range of fresh doughs. This results in less dough waste and fewer finished products that cannot be sold.”