Almost all food industries use food additives in order to improve the quality of color, aroma, and taste and ensure the safety of products during their shelf life. Additives are added directly to the final product, where they function and remain. They usually have a CNS number (international corresponding INS number) and chemical name, and according to legal requirements, they must be listed on product packaging as food ingredients. However, these compounds often make consumers feel uneasy. As a result, the food industry has struggled to find ways to reduce and eliminate additives and move toward clean labeling.
Enzyme preparation is a kind of biologically active protein, which has the characteristics of high efficiency, specificity, green and natural. In food processing, it can reduce or replace food chemical additives, and it can also play a role that cannot be achieved by chemical methods. In food processing, enzyme preparations exist in the form of processing aids, which can be inactivated at high temperatures and will not be stored in the end product.
In contrast, processing aids function to improve product quality during processing without leaving residues in the final product because they are often destroyed or removed during processing. This substance does not need to be listed on product labels due to regulatory requirements, therefore, the use of processing aids instead of additives provides a new approach to food clean labeling.
Enzyme preparations are one of the most commonly used processing aids. During the baking process, the baking enzymes that play an improved function are destroyed by high temperature baking, so there is no need to declare it on the label. Therefore, baking enzymes present an opportunity to achieve clean label for baked goods.
In the past, traditional bread making used natural enzymes to prolong the fermentation time. The natural enzymes in wheat flour break down starch, protein, non-starch polysaccharides and lipids, resulting in better quality, delicious and nutritious baked bread. Today, enzymes are regarded by industry as important processing aids, for example, in dough processing to control moisture loss and thus extend product shelf life.
To meet consumer demand, the bakery industry has been trying to reduce the fat content of its products. However, during the processing of cakes, biscuits and pastries, fats play some functional roles and play a key role in the taste and shelf life of the final product. So, if the fat content is reduced in baked goods, other ingredients need to be added to compensate for these functions.
Fat is a lubricant that helps bread and cookie dough soften and enhance flow without sticking. Reducing the fat content in the recipe can cause the dough to stick to the mold and mass transfer surfaces, increase dough waste, and require additional cleaning. Emulsifiers can be used to replace the functions of some fats, but emulsifiers are food additives and must be listed in the product ingredient list, which is easy to cause disgust among consumers.
Lipase is a fat obtained by enzymatically degrading the oil in flour raw materials. It is used in the production of bread and cakes to reduce the amount of fat required in recipes. Experiments show that the better the stability of the air cell, the faster the expansion of the bubbles, and the larger the volume of the bread. That is, with the addition of lipase to the dough, the volume of the bread is improved and the quality of the crumb is significantly increased.
Like fat, reducing the sugar content of a product is a priority for many bakers. Likewise, in the processing of cakes, biscuits and pastries, sugar also plays some functional roles, such as providing flavor, controlling batter viscosity, moisturizing, providing color through Maillard reactions, and more. However, excess sugar can alter the kinetics in fermentation and can lead to problems in automated processes. In today's health-conscious world, the use of enzymes to sweeten baked goods rather than adding sugar directly falls into the category of clean label baked goods.