April 25, 2017

26/04/2017: Enzymes for enhancing flour quality

by Pinar Erdal, Research & Development Manager of Mirpain Bakery Ingredients, Turkey

Bread, is the most widely consumed food in the world and its main ingredient is flour

For making bread, the most consumed flour is Wheat Flour and the most important value of wheat is its quality. The quality of the wheat flour depends on its compounds which depends on wheat variety its compounds, which means depending on wheat variety, harvest season (winter or spring), climatic effects (rainfall), storage conditions-durations, crop and after crop treatment, planting regime, biological effects and so on.

These conditions affect the bread's characteristics like crumb and crust colour even and smooth crumb texture, higher water absorption, uniform loaf shape, better-knife opening and higher tolerance to various processes.

When your flour cannot meet these factors, functional ingredients especially ultra concentrated enzymes that catalyse chemical reactions in the case of flour/dough, take a big role in improving the flour.

As a result of being ultra concentrated, when a little enzyme is used it yields desired effects on the flour quality. For example, they enhance gas production by yeasts and can help control the strength of the dough. Each enzyme acts upon only one specific substrate and ignores the others.

Like proteins, they have an optimum temperature and ph to react. On top of these factors, water content, enzyme amount, substrate content and the given time for reaction are also important. Also it is known that amylases and xylanases are the enzymes most added to dough.

Most widely used, Amylases are reported as being the first enzymes to be added to bread dough. They are also the topic of most current research on enzymes in dough. While the initial use was for generating fermentable sugars (increasing gassing power), current interest focuses on their ability to delay crumb firming, the anti-staling effect.

Amylases action on damaged starch granules produces dextrins and oligosaccharides. The key factor of amylase in wheat flour is to break down complex starches into simple sugars. The presence of amylase is essential for fermentation of dough because yeast requires simple sugars to produce carbon dioxide.

Although flour contains a tiny amount of sugar, one to two percent, this amount is not enough to make dough rise during fermentation. However, wheat kernels contain naturally occurring alpha amylase because they need to break starch molecule into sugar to have the needed energy during the germinating of the kernels.

The amount of naturally occurring amylase is affected by wheat variety, harvest season (winter or spring), climatic effects (rainfall), storage conditions-durations, crop and after-crop treatment, planting regime, as well as biological effects of the wheat. Falling Number Method is a key analysis to determine the quality of flour by figuring out indirectly the alpha amylase activity.

In the case of deficiency in naturally occurring amylase, the flour is supplemented by adding commercially available amylases or it is possible to blend flours to balance the amount of amylases.

Read the full article HERE.

The Global Miller
This blog is maintained by The Global Miller staff and is supported by the magazine Milling and Grain
which is published by Perendale Publishers Limited.

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