German firm Mühlenchemie has developed a baking enzyme that it claims can increase the shelf life of bread by up to two weeks.
The company’s recently launched Alphamalt Fresh enzyme is said to breakdown parts of amylopectin, a component of starch which re-crystallises during storage and leads to staling.
Impact on characteristics
Olaf Gerken, food engineer and head of baking and rheology lab at Mühlenchemie, told BakeryAndSnacks.com that characteristics in bread would be mostly unchanged.
“Texture, colour and other properties of bread remain almost unaffected, therefore the enzyme can be combined with flour and bread improvers targeting for instance volume yield, crumb structure, or colour without the risk of negative impacts,” he said.
He added that as the enzyme was a processing aid it need not appear on ingredients lists, which would allow manufacturers to keep a clean-label.
According to Gerken, dosage depended upon the concentration of the product. For concentrations Mühlenchemie recommends 25-75 ppm (flour base) for bread formulations, which it claims can prolong crumb softness for 21 days, without any negative effects.
He added that there were applications for the enzyme in rich bakery products, such as scones and cakes. However, he warned higher doses would be required and the effectiveness would be reduced.
Gerken said that almost no adjustments were required to formulate with the enzyme.
“Alpha-amylase may have an improving effect on the function of the enzyme, and vice versa alpha-amylase may be supported by Alphamalt Fresh. Hence a lower dosage of both is an option, but not a necessity,” he said.
He added that the enzyme was relatively cheap.
Mühlenchemie is a member of the Stern-Wywiol Gruppe, and is based in Ahrensburg, Germany.