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What is bread improver?

06 April 20216 min reading

Feridun Taşdelen Food and Industrial Microbiologist Ferun Un

Although the use of additives is negatively viewed as a result of incorrect and inadequate information to the public today, the use of food additives is needed due to the process between the production and consumption of food in today's world. Food additives, which are used to minimize the problems that may occur during this process, enable us to consume healthier and more reliable foods.

Bread improver is one of bread production ingredients used with flour, water, salt and yeast all over the world and especially in developed countries such as Germany and the USA.

Bread improver is a mixture of vitamin C and enzymes used in intensive and rapid bread production processes to increase bread production quality.

On the other hand, enzymes are not defined as food additives according to Article 1, Paragraph 4 of Turkish Food Codex food additives regulation.

Let's briefly talk about some of the ingredients found in this mixture.

For example; alpha amylase enzyme found in bread improver naturally exists in flour.

Alpha Amylase enzyme converts some of the damaged starch in flour into sugar and shortens the leavening time of the dough. The sugar formed is consumed by the yeast and carbon dioxide gas is released in the meantime. The released gas expands at the oven temperature and helps the bread to turn into a more voluminous, smooth, easily digestible, higher quality food item. Since the original sugar converted from starch by alpha amylase enzyme is easily and quickly caramelized even at low temperatures during baking, the bread takes color easily. Thus, while baking the bread for a shorter period of time would be sufficient for the bread to take color, it does not cause the formation of carcinogenic substances known as acrylamide by baking the bread more than necessary for its coloring. In this way, alpha amylase enables us to produce and consume much healthier breads.

Vitamin C, another bread additive ingredient, increases the quality of the proteins in the flour and provides a better volume of bread. It increases the nutritional value of bread.

Cysteine, DATEM and Soy Flour are not used in bread improvers because they are not needed and are not in compliance with the food communiqué.

Soy Flour; Today, it is not preferred in bread improvers due to the dominant flavor and smell of soybeans. It whitens the dough color. Bread was used to be liked white, but not anymore.

DATEM: Diacetyl tartaric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides were used to ensure the smooth inner texture of the bread. It has now been replaced by natural enzymes as it changes the flavor of bread and is expensive.

Cysteine: It is an essential amino acid. It causes the dough to be more fluid and weak. There is a weakness of the dough due to the low gluten quality of Turkish wheat, high bran content and low salt content in the dough. For this reason, it is necessary to strengthen the dough with vitamin C instead of weakening it with cysteine.

The cysteine amino acid was used to be produced by a manufacturing technique that was not very pleasant for all religious circles (Muslims, Jews, Christians, and Buddhists ...) and all peoples. However, cysteine, which is an essential amino acid today, can be produced much cheaper by fermentation. In order to increase the fluidity of the dough when needed, deactivated yeast and enzymes are preferred today due to their easy supply.

Being prejudiced about food additives and not having enough information can cause uneconomic production processes for businesses.

Bread improvers should preserve the flavor and natural smell of the bread while improving all the elements you expect in bread quality.

Although the use of additives is negatively viewed as a result of incorrect and inadequate information to the public today, the use of food additives is needed due to the process between the production and consumption of food in today's world. Food additives, which are used to minimize the problems that may occur during this process, enable us to consume healthier and more reliable foods.

Using bread additives (enzyme mixtures for bakery according to the new communiqué) or processing aids created with legally permitted ingredients has no health negative effects and it allows you to produce healthier breads.

Processing aids products (enzyme and vitamin C) should be added to breads. A few grams of vitamin C with a few grams of enzyme is useful, but it has no known harms.

In our country where 30% of the nutrition of 83 million people is from bread and bread consumption per capita is 3 times the European average, we must produce bread in high quality in a fast and economical way. The way to do this is to use vitamin C and enzymes in bread making.

Why should vitamin C and enzymes be used in bakeries rather than mills? 1. Vitamin C and enzymes (processing aids) cannot be mixed well enough due to the technology of flour mills.

2. Processing aids products that are placed in an environment with 15% moisture such as flour lose 30% in a month.

3. The effects of substances that undergo specific reactions such as enzymes can be determined by controlled bread studies.

Specialized personnel are required for this type of R&D unit to be established in the mills.

4. Processing aids and vitamin C used in mills are used according to the minimum requirement in flour. It is problematic to put in a fixed amount without taking into account the final product needs and changing process conditions. a. Many products such as baked bread, Trabzon bread, pita, flatbread, bagel, cake, breadcrumbs, black bread and so on are obtained from the bread flours produced in the mills. However, if pita is to be produced from these flours, less vitamin C should be added, and if bread is to be produced, more vitamin C should be added. Another example is cake production. One of the most important reasons why many large producers are still unable to produce products at European standards in cake production is the enzymes used in mills for bread flour. While special flour cannot be produced in the mills for "sponge cake", technologically use of additives continues unconsciously.

b. The amount of vitamin C used in mills must be constant and minimum due to an economical process. However, the need for vitamin C in bread production varies depending on the amount of water added during dough forming, kneading time, dough temperature, mechanical process length and type, bread production time, flour strength, whether the dough is reprocessed, the amount of yeast, the characteristics of the flour in the blend, the processing technique, the volume of bread and what kind of product to be produced.

c. The need for vitamin C in bread flour also includes regional differences. For example, high vitamin C is required in Kayseri and Adana, low vitamin C in the Eastern Black Sea region, medium level vitamin C in Erzurum, very high vitamin C in Istanbul, while it may not be needed at all in some regions.

In our country, which exports flour to all corners of the world, it would be a more correct approach to leave the need for additives to the decision of the end consumer, as customer demands and needs differ.

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