Introduction to Bread Improver
Bread improver is a blend of coherent, balanced combination of baking ingredients that can be added to wheat flour and dough to assist and improve the overall dough behaviour and final bread quality (Cauvain, 2017). Appropriate formulation of bread improver will result in a lighter loaf with better textual properties and better keeping qualities (Laucke Flour Mills, n. d.).
It is made up of food ingredients (cereal products such as starch or malt, different sugars, dairy products such as powdered milk, soy flour) with or without additives (preservatives, fruit acids, phosphate, thickening agents), and varies depending on different applications. Commonly, the ingredients used in bread improvers are usually also part of the components from the food products (Wassermann, 2009).
For rye dough, addition of acid to the dough can avoid producing bread with weak crumbs, inelastic and low chewability. The acidifiers mainly consist of lactic, acetic, citric acids or acidic phosphates (Wassermann, 2009).
There are 5 types of elements that are used as ingredients in bread improver. Those are reducing agents, oxidants, enzymes, emulsifiers and various ingredients with specific effects such as hydrocolloids (Lesaffre, n. d.).
|Components||Examples of Ingredients||Functions|
|Reducing Agents||L-cysteine (amino acid), Glutathione (tri-peptide)||
|Oxidising Agents||Ascorbic Acid||
|Enzymes||Amylase, Xylanase, Proteases and Lipoxygenase||
|Emulsifiers||Lecithin, Diacetyl Tartaric Acid Esters of Mono- and Diglycerides, StearoylLactylate||
|Hydrocolloids||Guar Gum, Soya Flour, Pre-gelatinised Cereal Flours and Starches||
(Haegens, n. d.; Wassermann, 2009; Lesaffre, n. d.)
In particular, bread improvers can be formulated differently based on products to be used in or the intended production method. Improvers are generally used at an amount of not more than 10% calculated on flour, while the optimum amount of components alter accordingly to the types of products. Commercially, they available as powder, in granular form or as liquid and paste (Wassermann, 2009).
The application for bread improvers can be classified into following groups as below:-
Improvers for small yeast-raised items (rolls)
Improvers for bread with more than 10% rye flour content (acidifier)
Improvers for toast bread and wheat bread
Improvers for yeast-raised fine bakery wares
Improvers for retarded and interrupted proofing
Improvers for prolonged shelf life (staling retarder)
Improvers for production of pound and sponge cakes (batter enhancing agent)
Guideline Quantities of Substances Used to Improve the Baking of Products Made Using Milled Wheat or Rye
|Components||% of the Dough Weight|
|Hydrocolloids (pre-gelatinised flour, guar gum, soya flour)||Approx. 1%|
|Lecithin||0.1 – 0.3%|
|Diacetyl tartaric ester of mono- and diglycerides (DAWE, DATEM)||0.2%|
|Monoglycerides of fatty acids, Stearoyl lactylate||0.2%|
|Ascorbic acid||100 – 200 mg/kg (ppm)|
|Acids (Citric, Lactic, Acetic Acid)||1%|
|Sugars (sucrose, glucose, malt extract)||1%|
Cauvain, S. (2017). Baking problems solved (2nd ed., pp. 133-144). Duxford: Woodhead Publishing.
Haegens, N. (n. d.). Bakery technology – Sugar, malt, milk powder, emulsifiers and enzymes.
Laucke Flour Mills. (n. d.). Bread Improvers.
Lesaffre. (n. d.). Bread improvers.
Wassermann, L. (2009). Bread improvers – action and application.