Puratos develops new enzyme improver for frozen products

By Ben Bouckley

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Bread, Baking, Puratos

Belgian bakery ingredients specialist Puratos Group has developed a new enzyme improver for part-baked frozen (PBF) bakery products.

PBF products allow bakers to fulfil demand for freshly baked bread at short-notice by rebaking a partially baked product to form colour and crust, where the challenge involves producing similar quality bread to that made by conventional direct-baking methods.

Puratos UK spokesman George Spain told BakeryandSnacks.com that with trends in bakery, as elsewhere within the food industry, moving towards clean-label products, demand has grown for enzyme-based improvers. He explained that the firm's new improver, Double Bake Acti-Plus, can be used in low concentrations, disappears during proving and reduces the need for traditional chemical emulsifiers.

Spain added that depending on the application, Puratos’ new “fungal and amylase-type” ​product​constitutes between 1-2 per cent of total flour weight, and is especially well-suited for use in baguettes, crusty rolls and tin loafs.

Lower emulsifier use

“This is fairly new technology in that we’re using enzyme solutions rather than traditional emulsifiers – the latter are still there but in lower quantities,”​ said Spain.

The firm claim that the improver is suitable for par-baked products in modified atmosphere packaging, while Spain outlined some other advantages: “Improvements are also apparent in staling using Acti-Plus: shelf life remains around 1-2 days, but the bread is in much better condition using this solution.”

Crust flaking is a particular problem in part-prepared frozen products, and according to Puratos, using Acti-Plus results in limits crust flaking after the first bake, reduces side collapsing of bread and provides “good oven jump and excellent cut definition”​.

The firm says that use of a good quality improver in PBF products should ensure that: “The surface of the part-baked items remains flexible upon freezing, in order to avoid excessive crust flaking after the final (second) bake.”

Clean label advantage

Explaining the advantages of enzymes as clean-label improver solutions, Spain said Puratos has developed its Roma variation on Acti-Plus with this in mind, where vitamin C and emulsifiers have been cut out completely.

With potential applications as wide-ranging as toasted bread, baguettes, sweet bread and Danish pastries, Spain said Prima Acti-Plus Roma incorporates a “natural sourdough flavour, which means a slightly higher enzyme count of between 1.5 to 3 per cent”.

“As a clean label improver it’s of clear interest to standard bakeries, but also leading retailers who desire such a solution, for instance Sainsbury’s in the UK.”

Puratos says it acquired new insights into causes and effects of flaking, which it says is “one of the main drawbacks” ​of PBF bakery products, after participating in the EU-funded ‘Freshbake’ project between industry and academe that finished last year.

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