The food and beverage industry has been trending toward cleaner labels for years, but Lesaffre Corporation wanted to dig into the trend further as it relates to the baking category specifically. In October 2020, Lesaffre partnered with C&R Research to investigate attitudes and motivations surrounding baked goods purchases among U.S. adults. The study revealed major differences among age groups (discussed in our white paper “Getting to Know the Clean Label Bread Consumer”), but there was strong agreement among all consumers that the most important bread characteristics are taste (92%), soft texture (67%), and simple, recognizable ingredients (62%). Unfortunately, this can cause challenges for bakers, as creating great taste and texture often requires ingredients that don’t align with consumers’ label preferences.
One such ingredient is mono- and diglycerides (MDGs), commonly used by commercial bakeries to create softness and resilience in applications like hamburger and hot dog buns, where staling has an outsized effect on shelf life and sensory experience. Although MDGs are versatile and effective emulsifiers, they’re increasingly avoided by label-conscious consumers. According to Lesaffre’s research, 51% of consumers don’t want MDGs in the baked goods they consume.
Establishing Softness with Label-Friendly Ingredients During the Critical First Four Days
During the first four days after a pan bread or bun is baked and packaged, maintaining a high degree of softness en route to the store shelf is critical. Consumers are more likely to reject stale breads and buns, a predicament to both manufacturers and retailers. Historically, manufacturers have turned to MDGs to achieve short-term softness in these applications. Now, with Lesaffre’s new Saf-Pro® Star-Zyme™ MDG Replacer, mid-to-large sized industrial bakers have a label friendly enzyme-based alternative that provides short-term softness in pan breads, buns, rolls, and other yeast-raised goods, so manufacturers and retailers have more flexibility with delivery time.
Star-Zyme MDG Replacer slows starch retrogradation to extend fresh-baked softness during the first four days of shelf life with a lower usage level than MDGs. In fact, lab tests have shown Star-Zyme MDG Replacer to outperform MDGs and other dough improvers in establishing short-term softness in whole wheat bread, hamburger bun, and hot dog bun applications.
Star-Zyme MDG Replacer Outperforms Distilled MDGs and Powders
Using lower concentrations than what is typically added with MDG pastes and powders, Star-Zyme MDG Replacer is generally more effective at creating short-term softness. In tests, applications produced using 0.1%, 0.2%, and 0.25% concentrations of Star-Zyme MDG Replacer, on average, displayed softness and resilience measurements comparable to or better than those breads using 1% or 2% concentrations of MDG paste (Figures 1 and 2) and 0.2%-1.0% concentrations of MDG powder (Figures 3-6). Notably, products made using .25% Star-Zyme MDG Replacer were considerably softer after the first seven days following production than formulations made with 1.0% or 2.0% MDG paste.
Star-Zyme MDG Replacer
Star-Zyme MDG Replacer is a versatile and highly effective ingredient. As a powder, it’s easier to use in production than MDG pastes, and it requires a substantially lower dosage than other improvers (around 0.1%-0.3%). In some applications, its usage can also reduce the amount of ESL ingredients needed by 10-15%.
Effective yet label friendly ingredients like Star-Zyme MDG Replacer give bakers and bread manufacturers more tools to respond to every need in an ever-changing landscape of consumer preferences. If you’re interested in learning more about how Lesaffre can help you replace MDGs or solve other formulation challenges, contact us at 1-800-770-2714.