Baking enzyme developed to increase bread shelf life

A baking enzyme has been developed in order to increase the shelf life of bread by up to two weeks.

Recently launched by German firm Muhlenchemie, the Alphamalt Fresh enzyme is said to breakdown parts of amylopectin, a component of starch which re-crystallises during storage and leads to staling.

Olaf Gerken, food engineer and head of baking and rheology lab at Mehlenchemie, said that characteristics in bread would be mostly unchanged.

He said: “Texture, colour and other properties of bread remain almost unaffected, therefore the enzyme can be combined with flour and bread improvers targeting for instance volume yield, crumb structure, or colour without the risk of negative impacts”.

He added that as the enzyme was a processing aid it need not appear on ingredients lists, which would allow manufacturers to keep a clean-label.

According to Gerken, the dosage depended upon the concentration of the product. For concentrations Muhlenchemie recommends 25-75 ppm (flour base) for bread formulations, which it claims can prolong crumb softness for 21 days, without any negative effects.

Mr Gerken added that there were applications for the enzyme in rich bakery products, such as scones and cakes. However, he warned higher doses would be required and the effectiveness would be reduced.

He also said that almost no adjustments were required to formulate with the enzyme.

“Alpha-amylase may have an improving effect on the function of the enzyme, and vice versa alpha-amylase may be supported by Alphamalt Fresh. Hence a lower dosage of both is an option, but not a necessity,” he said.

Mr Gerken said that the enzyme was relatively cheap.

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