Produced through enzymatic hydrolysis, the vital wheat gluten naturally contains at least 26% peptide-bonded glutamine, which aids rapid digestion. It is also highly water soluble and both heat- and pH-stable (5.5 to 7.5), offering a ‘neutral, non-bitter flavor profile.’
In addition to reducing mix time – an industry-wide goal – HG-80 has been shown to increase dough extensibility while decreasing snap back. It deters browning, too, and does not require high dosage to be effective, according to the supplier.
AMCO originally introduced HG-80 as a nutritional product, said VP Nancy Kraus, but its R&D team studied its functional benefits in bakery applications, leading to the announcement of this lactose-free, non-GMO product.
High in amino acids (including glutamic acid, leucine, and valine), HG-80 can be labeled as ‘hydrolyzed wheat gluten,’ alongside an allergen statement of ‘contains wheat.’
The most common dough conditioner, L-cysteine is typically derived from animal protein, which is then concentrated in hydrochloric acid and activated carbon. It can also be created through patented plant-based fermentation processes, made from vegetables and other ‘inorganic trace elements.’ These are available as vegetarian, kosher and halal grade options.
Also known as E920, it is approved for use in Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the US. China produces most of the global supply.
In baking, it cuts mix times, in turn lowering dough temperature and ‘de-stressing’ the dough. Sometimes it decreases dough volume.
According to Bakerpedia, a protein-based reducing agent ‘functions similarly to L-cysteine but is potentially more effective because it can react more times.’
Effective in white bread and tortillas
The company believes this wheat gluten can improve an array of baked goods – from breads and rolls, to flatbreads, pizza dough, crackers and cookies.
To reach this point, AMCO studied HG-80 specifically in white bread and flour tortillas. Mix time fell in both cases, at a 0.5% use rate. The dough simultaneously reached ‘optimal development,’ while also retaining gas and crumb structure.
For tortillas, neither the diameter nor the stack height seemed to be affected when compared to controlled tortillas that omitted HG-80. Mix time fell by 38% for product with 1% of the ingredient.
That percentage is lower than the industry standard for wheat gluten as a dough conditioner, which typically entails a 2% to 5% usage rate.
The mix time for white bread did not fall quite as far for the same 1% inclusion, cutting time by 15% in AMCO’s tests. HG-80 did improve the elasticity of the dough, however, making it softer and easier to knead.
In comparing HG-80 to similar products on the market, AMCO said it found that height increased by 30% to 45%: “HG-80 delivers larger differences in rise heights which can potentially decrease proof and production times."