Gummy boost for refrigerated doughs

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Xanthan gum Wheat

Adding xanthan gum to refrigerated dough mix may prevent the separation of liquid and solid, boosting consumer acceptance, says a new study.

The hydrocolloid was found to be effective at reducing the phenomenon known as “dough syruping”, whereby liquid separates from the dough and forms a syrup which may leak out of the package.

“Refrigerated dough is one of the fastest growing segments of the ready-to-use, grain based industry, both domestically and internationally, due to its ease of use and capacity to keep freshness during extended periods of refrigerated storage,”​ explained Senay Simsek from North Dakota State University.

According to a 2004 report by Packaged Facts​ (its most recent report in this area) the US home baking products market was worth a staggering $4.3 billion in 2004, including pie crusts, baking crumbs, cake/brownie/cookie/muffin mixes, and refrigerated/frozen products such as biscuit dough, bread, dough, and cookie dough.

With such growth the benefits of Simsek’s work appear obvious. The findings are published in the journal Food Hydrocolloids​.

Study details

Simsek formulated dough with different levels of xanthan gum (TIC gums), including 0.01, 0.5 and 1 per cent. The dough recipe included flour, water/milk, sugar, salt, shortening and leaveners.

The different xanthan concentrations influenced syrup formation, said Simsek, as well as the rheological properties of the refrigerated dough.

While the lowest xanthan gum level (0.01 per cent) had no significant impact on the degree of dough syruping (DDS), which was 21 per cent after 34 days of storage, addition of 0.5 per cent xanthan gum significantly reduced the syrup formation, with a DDS of only 2.2 per cent after 10 days, and 11.9 per cent at the end of the study.

Furthermore, addition of the highest xanthan gum level (1 per cent) “dramatically decreased the DDS”, said Simsek, which was 0.5 per cent after 16 days, and only 3.5 per cent after 34 days.

“Overall, higher percentages of xanthan were inversely correlated to the DDS,”​ said Simsek. “This result could be explained by the high water retention capacity of xanthan gum in food systems.”

In terms of dough consistency, the best results were observed when 0.5 per cent xanthan gum was added. “The dough was able to retain almost 45 per cent of its initial consistency at day-34 while dough with 1 per cent xanthan gum retained only 38 per cent at the same storage point,”​ said the researcher.

“Xanthan gum could be used in refrigerated dough formulations to decrease DDS and stabilize doughs during storage,”​ concluded Simsek.

Current approaches

Simsek notes that the food industry currently has four methods to prevent dough syruping. These include the correct choice of wheat flour, debranning of the wheat kernels to reduce the levels of endoxylanase, adding endoxylanase inhibitors to the recipe, such as Triticum aestivum​ endoxylanase inhibitor, and adding xylan to the mix.

Source: Food Hydrocolloids
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.foodhyd.2009.06.017
“Application of xanthan gum for reducing syruping in refrigerated doughs”
Author: S. Simsek

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