Enzymes important role in the baking process.


For centuries bakers have looked for ways to get more from their raw materials, streamline the baking process and produce better products. 






Enzymes are proteins that target specific substrates to deliver a specific result. They act as catalysts for biochemical reactions, and in baked goods, provide a number of improvements to the process and the product.


Enzymes are produced by plants, animals and micro-organisms. Only a small amount of enzymes are need in the product. In bread-making, enzymes catalyse three main reactions – breaking protein chains, changing complex sugars to simple sugars and starch to maltose.

Enzymes: a brief overview

Today, enzymes provide the baker with a cost effective solution for dough stability and handling, oven spring, crumb softness, colour and structure, flavour, aroma and more importantly, shelf life.


Consumer demand for natural products, free of chemical additives, is another contributor for the use of enzymes in baked goods. Other factors include clean label requirements, a demand for more cost-effective ingredients and a demand for new and innovative products.


Manufacturers are always on the lookout for more efficient ways to keep products fresh. Shelf-life in terms of softness remains a key quality parameter.


Enzyme application has significantly evolved over the past 30 years and continues to progress as new advancements are made in biotechnology. Consumer demand for freshness and the ever changing eating patterns in today’s fast paced world has lead bakers to look for ways to deliver cost effective solutions to the ever-changing needs of the industry. Whilst enzymes are excellent products on their own, their effectiveness really shines when used in conjunction with emulsifiers and other food ingredients.”



Present and future trends

In some countries chemical additives have been restricted or even banned, compelling manufacturers to look to new technology. Both present and future trends in enzymes are focused around a move towards more natural ingredients and an ‘easy to understand’, clean label for the consumer, as well as the development of enzymes for whole grain products, important for health conscious consumers.


While enzymes are derived from both plant and animal sources, research today aims at identifying new methods of enzyme production mainly through the use of micro-organisms. “Through engineering new strains, new types of enzymes with new functionalities can be derived.


The industry is also leaning to a non-GMO route. Enzymes are well suited to deliver on these trends making them key components in product development. Enzymes perform their job during the mixing and early baking stages.



• increase dough stability
• improve dough handling properties
• increase baking volume
• improve browning
• improve crumb structure
• enhance crumb softness
• prolong shelf-life (reduce the staling rate)



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