How to keep bread softer for longer?


Hydrocolloids are added to bakery products to extend their shelf life by keeping the moisture content and retarding the staling. The addition of hydrocolloids may decrease granular swelling of the starch along with the amount of amylose leached from the granules would hinder the build-up of an amylose network; resulting in a softer crumb. Xanthan gum has been reported to improve dough handling properties, loaf’s volume and crumb softness when incorporated into composite cassava- wheat bread formulations (Eduardo et al., 2014).

Sodium stearoyl lactylate (SSL) and diacetyl tartaric acid esters of monodiglycerides (DATEM) are common emulsifiers that have been shown to improve bread crumb, crust texture and softness as well as to increase loaf volume. Sodium stearoyl lactylate (SSL) can be incorporated into bakery applications to increase the softness and crumb structure of breads and maintain their softness during storage (EFEMA, 2019). Additionally, lecithin has been proven to increase specific volume and to promote softer bread crumb compared to DATEM (Eduardo et al., 2014).

Incorporation of sodium stearoyl lactylate (SSL) wold result in a soft, fine crumb texture with increased volume. A study demonstrated that SSL and/or MALTO are/is effective in reducing bread firmness while extending softness for a longer storage period. SSL forms complexes with starch molecules while the enzyme maltogenic amylase (MALTO) reduces the molecular weight of these starch molecules. The effect of crystal formation (retrogradation) with proteins was lower, resulting in lower firmness (Gomes-Ruffi et al., 2012).

On the other hand, amylases can help to improve the gas-retention properties of fermented dough and reduces dough viscosity during starch gelatinization with consequent improvements in product volume and softness (Miguel et al., 2013). Amylases has an anti-staling effect in bread making where they are able to improve the softness retention of baked goods and thus increasing the shelf life of end products (Souza & Magalhaes, 2010).

In short, hydrocolloids, emulsifiers and enzymes can be used to maintain the softness of bread either by using alone or in combination with the right proportion.



Eduardo, M., Svanberg, U. & Ahrne, L. (2014). Effect of Hydrocolloids and Emulsifiers on Baking Quality of Composite Cassava-Maize-Wheat Breads. International Journal of Food Science2014, 1-9.

Miguel, A. S. M., Martins-Meyer, T. S., Figueiredo, E. V. C., Lobo, B. W. P. & Dellamora-Ortiz, G. M (2013). Enzymes in Bakery: Current and Future Trends. Food Industry

European Food Emulsifier Manufacturers’ Association (EFEMA). (2019). EFEMA Index of Food Emulsifiers. Brussels: Author.

Gomes-Ruffi, C. R., Cunha, R. H., Almeida, E. L., Chang, Y. K. & Steel, C. J. (2012). Effect of the emulsifier sodium stearoyl lactylate and of the enzyme maltogenic amylase on the quality of pan bread during storage. Elsevier49(1), 96-101.

Souza, P. M. & Magalhaes, P. O. (2010). Application of microbial α-amylase in industry – A review. Brazilian Journal of Microbiology41(4), 850-861.

Shittu, T. A., Aminu, R. A. & Abulude, E. O. (2009). Functional effects of xanthan gum on composite cassava-wheat dough and bread. Food Hydrocolloids23(8), 2254-2260.

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