An area that is impacting bakery manufacturers is consumers’ increasing demand for clean-label ingredients. Kerry shared a few key data points from their proprietary research, Kerry “Beyond the Label,” stating that 82% of U.S. consumers believe clean label is important, with almost as many evaluating ingredients called-out on food packages. 

Richie Piggot, vice president of business development North America, enzymes, Beloit, Wisconsin, Kerry describes it well: “Dough conditioners are key ingredients in the industrial production of bread as they help standardize processes in the industry, reducing dough-mixing time, increasing water absorption, improving bread quality, and extending its shelf life. However, consumers are increasingly concerned about the effect of these ingredients on their health, and this has increased the popularity of clean-label bread formulations.”


Clean-label solutions with enzymes

Enzymes have increasingly been used over the past few years in the bakery industry to provide functionality and address the need for clean label. Kerry has recently introduced Biobake Enhance, a newly developed enzyme system designed to replace DATEM containing dough conditioners in both fresh and frozen dough applications. Piggott describes the features and benefits of this new product, “this system optimizes proofing conditions and offers dough stability while enhancing product texture over shelf life. In addition there are a number of benefits associated with the use of Biobake Enhance:

  • Equal performance to DATEM containing dough conditioners
  • Eliminate DATEM, SSL, and / or DATEM containing dough conditioners
  • Increases frozen dough shelf life
  • Enhances texture and volume over shelf life
  • Develops a more continuous gluten network, increasing its stability
  • Enables a smoother surface and softer crumb
  • Allows process flexibility and improves operational efficiency
  • Reduces yeast & dough injury caused by ice crystal formation in frozen dough, reducing dough waste
  • Potentially reduces vital wheat gluten in fresh bread
  • Delivers dough tolerance

This new technology can be used in bread, bun, and roll applications including pan bread, Italian bread, and brioche.

Thymly Products has noted the largest trend they are seeing for dough conditioners is the need / use of clean label ingredients. “Certain ingredients reflect negative connotation making them undesirable to be utilized in products. Consequently, this means excluding things such as ADA (azodicarbonamide), bromates, DATEM, and SSL (sodium stearoyl lactylate) to name a few. One major way to remove undesired products is using enzymes. By utilizing different types of enzymes, these ‘undesirables’ can be mimicked. Thymly’s DATEM and SSL Replacer is a clean label product that can replace SSL and DATEM pound for pound using lipase. Our product gives improved dough tolerances with great baking performance and bread characteristics, explains Maggie Kellenberger, research & development, Thymly Products. 

Bellarise saw the opportunity to address increasing oil prices and sourdough’s rising popularity with consumers by launching two new custom enzyme-based solutions, Bellarise Oil Reducer and Bellarise Low pH Softener. Cam Suarez-Bitar, director of marketing and public relations, Bellarise, Pasadena, CA described these new products. “For bakers focusing on the sourdough and artisan bread trend, Bellarise Low pH Softener makes long fermentation easier. It improves dough machinability, maintains dough strength, and increases a sourdough bread’s shelf life. It also maintains both a soft crumb and open cell structure, which is a significant challenge faced by bakers working with long-fermentation doughs.”

Suarez-Bitar notes commercial and industrial bakeries can reduce their oil use by up to 50% with Bellarise Oil Reducer, depending upon the recipe and process. Bakers can reduce their dependence on oil and still maintain the desired texture and quality. The new ingredient works well in pan breads and hamburger buns and is currently being evaluated in additional applications.

Both new ingredients are clean-label, non-GMO, and Kosher.

Puratos has added exciting new technologies to their dough conditioners portfolio, such as Intens Puraslim which was designed to replace high-cost solid fats such as margarine and butter. “Our patented enzyme technologies allow for up to a 50 percent reduction in fat in a dough recipe, without compromising the tenderness or softness that the fat provides. This can lead to significant cost savings in traditionally high fat products, such as Hispanic sweet breads, Danish and cinnamon buns which is all important considering the volatility in the butter and margarine markets,” states Sean Hart, R&D manager, bakery mixes and improvers, Puratos.

The company will soon be bringing a new clean label enzymatic monoglyceride replacement to market. “Intens Soft & Fine was developed with enzymes found in the magnificent Hunan Forest in Southern China. This enzyme is responsible for breaking down plant material into soft, moist elements that liberate nutrients which then nourish new life. Thanks to this enzyme, Intens Soft & Fine is bringing softness to the bread, as well as a finer and whiter crumb. These superior softness and freshness properties allow for a longer shelf life and reduced food waste,” states Hart.

AB Mauri developed Qualitase SR for reduced sugar, yeast-raised baked goods. “Using Qualitase SR, it is possible to reduce sugar in yeast-raised products by up to 50 percent. Qualitase SR is mainly about sugar reductions but it does contain enzymes that help to maintain dough-processing characteristics that change due to sugar reduction. In baked goods, sugar provides food for the yeast, flavor, softness, and crust color, but high sugar levels also increase mix time, reduce gluten development, inhibit yeast activity and decrease finished volume. So, we designed Qualitase SR to replace the flavor of sugar but also address some of the other beneficial effects of sugar. Depending on how much sugar is being replaced, other process changes may also be required,” explains Troy Boutte, Ph.D., vice president innovation, AB Mauri North America. This new product works well in a wide array of baked goods including pan breads, rolls and sweet yeast-raised products like brioche.

The company is seeing renewed interest for another one of their enzyme-based solutions, Fermentase WM (water management) 200. A fact that many people are not aware of is that enzymes can help with water management. “Fermentase WM 200 works on the fibrous portions of cereal flours, as these fibers hold about ten times their weight in water. Therefore, a significant amount of the water added to doughs is just to satisfy the fiber alone. These fibers continue to absorb water throughout the processing, resulting in changes to dough rheology which can be problematic. In certain products such as crackers, where the final product will be dry, it doesn’t make sense to add a lot of water to the mix only to remove it in the oven. Fermentase WM 200 can significantly reduce formula water resulting in higher solids in the mixer, better dough rheology and ultimately higher throughout,” states Boutte.  

Corbion’s Pristine 2200 and 3000 are CL (clean label) enzyme-based dough strengtheners that offer strength, dough handling, and machinability. “These new ingredients provide significant tolerance to dough during processing, thus reducing waste due to poor dough processing tolerance. It can be used to replace chemical dough strengtheners or gluten,” shares Yangling Yin, director, bakery application, Corbion, Lenexa, KS. These products can be used in any yeast (bread/bun/pizza) or chemical (tortilla) leavened baked goods.

The company is offering new tools for extending shelf life. “We are continuing to broaden our Ultra Fresh product line to meet demand for maintaining desired finished product texture and the expected eating quality consumers expect. The Ultra Fresh line maintains desired product texture over the expected shelf life of the product through enzyme technology. The Ultra Fresh Advantage products have the added benefit of breaking down the long chain carbohydrates present in flour into simpler sugars – creating sweetness while reducing sugar added at the bowl,” states Tess Brensing, senior product manager, Corbion, Lenexa, KS. 

According to a study Lesaffre conducted with C + R Research, 51% of consumers don’t want to see mono and di glycerides on ingredient labels. Lesaffre saw an opportunity and introduced Saf-Pro Star-Zyme MDG Replacer. “Star Zyme MDG Replacer, an enzyme-based alternative, slows starch retrogradation to extend fresh-baked softness during the first four days of shelf life with a lower usage than MDGs. In fact, lab tests have shown Star-Zyme MDG Replacer to outperform MDGs and other dough improvers in establishing short-term softness in whole wheat bread, hamburger buns, and hot dog bun applications. Additionally, in some applications, its usage can also reduce the amount of extend shelf-life ingredients needed by 10–15%,” states Sherrill Cropper, new product development lab manager – Bakery Formulator, Lesaffre. The product also works well in the following applications: pan breads, brioche, concha buns, rolls, cinnamon buns, sweet rolls, and soft pretzels.

Cropper shares highlights for additional new dough improvers the company launched:

  • Saf-Pro Star-Zyme STR 601: this enzyme blend can be used to replace DATEM and / or reduce the usage of vital wheat gluten while improving dough tolerance, strength, and crumb structure and enhancing volume in bagels, buns, rolls, and bread
  • Azteca Bolillos 3.1: emulsifier-free, it improves the machinability and volume of bolillos, teleras, conchas, and danes
  • Azteca MagnoPro 200: is an all-purpose bread improver that is designed to bring volume and tolerance at minimal cost. It provides consistent results in bolillos, teleras, conchas, and Hispanic breads

Kemin has recently developed a new clean-label dough conditioners / dough relaxer under their Kemin Tillasoft brand. “This is a protein based reducing agent sourced from yeast. Yeast is a natural source of glutathione, a reducing agent. During mixing, the disulfide linkages that hold gluten together, are broken mechanically and chemically by these reducing agents such as glutathione. This will reduce mixing time, improve machine handling and dough extensibility,” shares Anita Srivastava, PhD., CFS – senior technical service manager, bakery, Kemin Food Technologies – Americas. This new product can be used in a wide array of flour-based products such as pizza crust, flour tortilla, naan, pita, and lavash.


Fibers: cleaner label emulsifiers

Acacia fiber is known for its natural emulsification properties and in December 2021 it was approved by the FDA for meeting the criteria to be classified as a fiber in North America. “This development is welcomed for Emulgold Fiber, Kerry’s naturally sourced, soluble dietary fiber ingredient that recently expanded into the white bread production market. Produced ethically using natural resin from the acacia tree—endemic to the Sahel region of Arica—Emulgold’s clean label makes it a perfect consumer friendly ingredients. The application of Emulgold delivers a high concentration of soluble dietary fiber (minimum 85%) that enables a ‘high in fiber’ claim and provides excellent digestive tolerance without the risk of unwanted effects. Sensory and texture analysis results confirm that taste and aroma are unaffected, as are loaf volume, softness, crumb and crust color; there is little impact on dough rheology, making it easy for bakers to handle,” explains Piggott. 

Fiberstar’s Citri-Fi citrus fiber is a natural, plant-based, sustainable ingredient made through a proprietary and patented process without any chemical modifications. “The functional benefits of Citri-Fi make it a natural choice for dough conditioning. Citrus fiber improves the moisture retention in bakery and snack products. The fiber matrix, soluble and insoluble fiber, binds water to hold moisture during processing, storage, and shelf life. With hydration, the fiber matrix swells to entrap water. The retained water produces a softer and fresher product for the consumer. Citri-Fi can also hold up to three times its weight in oil, almost two times more oil than mono and diglycerides, to improve emulsification of fats and contribute to improved texture. Citri-Fi provides a tender, cohesive crumb without the gummy texture seen when using enzymes to condition dough. Processability of the raw dough is also improved because of the superior water and oil holding of Citri-Fi; the dough is less sticky and more cohesive,” explains Sheila McWilliams, technical sales manager, Fiberstar Inc, River Falls, WI.

Citri-Fi can be used in a broad range of snack and bakery products including breads, tortillas, pastries, cookies and cakes. It has also demonstrated improved texture and a tender crumb in gluten-free products and cracker and chips have shown to have improved cohesiveness and less breakage. Citri-Fi is non-GMO Project Verified, allergen-free, and gluten-free. 

Bartek has been providing malic and fumaric acid to bakers for more than 50 years. The company continues to drive further enhancements on the functionality of fumaric acid and has introduced Upscale Artisan Bread Technology. “We recently announced patent-pending, clean label, and cost effective fumaric acid-based technologies to improve the production and consumer appeal of a variety of bread products such as ciabatta and baguette. Upscale is our latest release and with this ingredient technology, bakers can migrate their formulas from small operations to industrial scale without relying too much on ingredients that are not considered clean-label. Upscale Artisan Bread Technology can increase volume, improve porosity, and enhance overall quality while reducing mix time and product costs,” states Mohammad Emami, senior product marketing manager, Bartek Ingredients, Stoney Creek, Ontario.

Solutions for supply chain shortages

The industry continues to be plagued with supply chain shortages and two of the many ingredient being affected are vital wheat gluten and oils. As the demand for vital wheat gluten increases while supply continues to be tight, companies are being challenged to find suitable replacements. Thymly Products offers a solution to match functionality. “Our Dough Conditioners #1 Perfection combines ascorbic acid and enzymes to match dough tolerance, handling, and volume to that of using vital wheat gluten. Dough Conditioner #1 Perfection is a well-balanced combination of wholesome, natural free-flowing ingredients with a high degree of uniformity to condition the flour and water in a formulation. Perfection strengthens the dough for dependable resilient product with better tolerances,” explains Kellenberger. The recommended use level is 3-4 ounces per 100 lbs. of flour to achieve the best results 

Given the supply chain challenges, there is renewed interest in existing technologies. Puratos offers Intens Tolerance which is their gluten replacement enzyme technologies. “Gluten is a convenient and easy tool to solve a lot of bakery problems, but current pressures on supply chain mean bakers need alternative solutions. Applicable in most baked goods with vital wheat gluten in the formula, these technologies can offer clean label solutions that combine tolerance, strength, and oven jump, that gluten traditionally provides in a bread recipes,” shares Hart. 

The growing interest in clean label from both consumers and manufacturers will continue to raise the bar on clean-label dough conditioning ingredients.