Malt flour alternative could improve drought hit flour

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Starch, Wheat, Bread

A new enzyme concentrate can improve the baking properties of wheat and rye flours for bread makers and tackles the challenges of too high intrinsic enzyme activity linked to very dry growing conditions, said Mühlenchemie.

This development will be good news for the bakery sector as an unusually dry and hot spring in top EU wheat producers and severe dryness in US wheat growing states has resulted in irreversible drought damage in the crops.

Heat damage to wheat causes high ‘falling numbers’ but enzymes can be added by mills in various ways to standardize their flours and enhance their quality when baked.

Widened amylase range

The German flour improver specialists said its new purified cereal based Betamalt 25 FBD is an extension of its amylases range.

Amylases, in a multi-stage reaction process, break up the unbranched sections of the starch molecule into shorter units and provide the yeast with enough sugar for fermentation.

In the case of low-enzyme flours the viscosity of the dough can be reduced in this way, and this in turn improves the processing characteristics of the dough and the properties of the baked products, note Mühlenchemie.

Dr Lutz Popper, head of research & development at the German supplier, told this publication that Betamalt 25 FBD is cost effective in that it can be added at a dosage rate five to ten times lower than the industry standard, malt flour.

The new processing aid “proved its superiority over added wheat malt flour or fungal α-amylase in both low-enzyme German wheat flour and North American hard wheat flour,”​ said the supplier

“Depending on the starting material and the desired Falling Number reduction, 10 to 50 g per 100 kg of flour is usually enough to improve oven rise, volume, shelf-life and browning of the baked goods”,​ said Popper.

The company said that tests with low-enzyme rye flour, Type 997, from the German harvest produced similar results, saying the addition of 50 g Betamalt 25 FBD per 100 kg of flour lowered the Falling Number by 100 s.

Analyses in the Amylograph confirmed that the new enzyme concentrate reduced the maximum viscosity by about 400 AU and the maximum pasting temperature by about 15°C, added the supplier.

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