The innovations manager of the UK-based bakery taste and texture specialist company, Carl Smith, told BakeryandSnacks that EnhancR does not increase the shelf life of a cake, i.e. it does not act as a preservative.
In a statement, the company says that most cake products with a moist, spongy crumb undergo a quality deterioration process when stored at ambient temperatures - known more commonly as staling.
“Staling is similar to that in bread where the crumb dries out and the moist, ‘fresh’ eat is gradually lost as a result of starch retro gradation.” Smith explained “Consumers associate staleness with a firmer crumb texture and a drier, tougher eat with a loss of flavor and aroma.”
“EnhancR blends have been developed using functional ingredients to enhance the sensorial attributes which consumers associate with freshness,” Smith said. “Formulated for use in cake products, EnhancR blends do not contain any anti-microbial functionality, but boost the perception of flavour, aroma, moistness, creaminess and crumb softness and compliment any anti-microbial ingredient already included in the recipe.”
The EnhancR range of products is currently available as two formulations: Conventional or Clean Label format, for vanilla or chocolate products, the company said.
Clean Label products, especially in the European market, means the absence of anything that consumers might perceive as artificial or unhealthy, Smith said. It’s particularly important to avoid the use of E numbers, codes for substances that are permitted to be used as food additives within the EU and Switzerland.
On the other hand, Smith said: “For markets where these restrictions are not an issue, then additives such as emulsifiers, which do have an E number and have been used, we have called these EnhancRs ‘Conventional’.”
However, Smith added this is an area open to many different interpretations with each bakery and retailer having their own definition of what is acceptable.
“In the UK, conventional typically describes a product that contains ingredients some of which are considered as food additives and possess an ‘E’ number – classified as safe by the European Food Safety Authority. Clean label on the other hand is a growing trend in the UK and certain parts of the EU, and is usually interpreted as absence of all but essential ‘E’ numbered ingredients, with the necessary functionality being obtained from natural or non- declarable ingredients.”
Flavour and health concerns
There is big push towards making bakery products healthier through the reduction of sugar, fat and salt, Smith said. So the challenge for the bakery ingredients industry is to maintain the taste, texture, mouthfeel, and the overall perception of indulgence, while making the bakery products healthy.
“Within the context of bakery being largely an indulgent sector of the food industry, EnhancR is no less or no more healthy than the collection of ingredients that it is combined with in making a cake,” he said,
In terms of the EnhancR products’ flavours, Smith said, “ITS has drawn from its own expertise with Natural Flavorings to carefully select vanilla and chocolate flavors which contribute to the overall cake enhancement.”
Market and outlook of the new solution
ITS said it showcased the new range of cake products for the first time at iba in Munich this September, and attracted a great deal of interest. Consequently, the ingredient has been widely sampled for evaluation to many companies across Europe.
“ITS is not restricting itself to the number of bakeries and mix companies that it wants to work with,” Smith said. “We are working with one or two very large cake manufacturers on very specific projects, but the EnhancR is available to any interested party.”