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How Commercial Bakeries can Improve Cost Efficiencies, Naturally

Commercial bakeries face a barrage of economic headwinds. Having to contend with labor shortages and high inflation in raw materials, the costs of production have dramatically increased across the industry. On top of that, supply chain disruptions have made it more difficult and unreliable to source certain key dough improvers, such as mono- and diglycerides (MDGs) and diacetyl tartaric acid ester of mono- and diglycerides (DATEM). Given the circumstances, bakery operators today are looking for new ways to reduce costs without sacrificing taste or sensory experience.

Lesaffre offers key solutions for achieving efficiencies and cost savings in bakery production, from pre-mixed bases that reduce the need for scaling and skilled labor to extended shelf life offerings that increase production capacity and can stay on store shelves longer to natural mold inhibitors that reduce stale returns and food waste. Better still, Lesaffre’s enzyme blends and natural dough improvers are clean label alternatives to the traditional ingredients that have been difficult to source.

Enzyme Blends for Natural Softness and Extended Shelf Life

Even before recent supply chain challenges made it harder to reliably source common anti-staling ingredients and emulsifiers like MDGs and DATEM, many bakers were reformulating to remove the chemical-sounding ingredients that may turn off label-conscious end consumers in favor of clean label alternatives. Formulators can effectively replace traditional ingredients with Lesaffre’s portfolio of clean label improvers and extended shelf life solutions.

Star-Zyme™ MDG Replacer

Saf Pro® Star-Zyme™ MDG Replacer is a clean label enzyme blend that slows starch retrogradation to extend the fresh-baked softness of breads, buns, rolls, and more during the first four days of shelf life so manufacturers and retailers have more flexibility with delivery time. It also helps bakeries achieve production efficiencies and cost-in-use savings.

As a powdered ingredient, MDG Replacer is considerably easier to handle and mix than MDGs, which simplifies production. Unlike the traditional ingredients that arrive at bakeries in 50-pound cubes, MDG Replacer is a dry powder that requires much less storage space and less consideration of weather conditions, as there is no risk of hardening on cold days or melting in hot temperatures. MDG Replacer is also much easier to add to mixers than the heavy plastic-like cubes of MDGs for improved production speed and employee safety.

Bakeries can also realize significant cost-in-use savings with MDG Replacer. Not only has the ingredient been shown in lab tests to outperform MDGs and other dough improvers in establishing short-term softness, but it also requires a usage level three-to-six times less than traditional emulsifiers. Furthermore, it can reduce the amount of anti-staling ingredients required in an application by 10 to 15 percent.

An additional bonus, MDG Replacer results in finished products with a better flavor than those made with MDGs, which can impart off-flavors which worsen if the ingredient goes rancid. 

When asked for the reasons why they do not want these ingredients, 40% said they are unfamiliar or hard to pronounce, 31% cited health or nutrition, and 21% said they are not natural.

These data clearly show that consumers are more and more primed to avoid ingredients that are unfamiliar or perceived as unnatural or unhealthy. As product labels receive more scrutiny at the grocery store, formulators need clean label alternatives that provide the functionality of chemical dough improvers without turning off shoppers. Fortunately, there is a clean label solution for achieving short- and long-term softness, improved machinability, and scalable consistency in buns, rolls, and pan breads.

Saf Pro® Star-Zyme™ STR 701 R

Saf Pro® Star-Zyme™ STR 701 R is also a clean label alternative to MDGs and DATEM with similar characteristics to MDG Replacer, but additionally replaces sodium stearoyl lactylate (SSL), vital wheat gluten (VWG), and L-cysteine. The all-in-one formula contributes to dough relaxation, strength, and tolerance, enhances volume, and extends shelf life.

Furthermore, using single ingredient STR 701 R is easier to scale and simpler than sourcing five traditional ingredients – commonly used together in formulations to achieve the same result as STR 701 R – from multiple suppliers and more cost-effective than buying the other dough improvers separately.

STR 701 R can also contribute to improved efficiencies in high-volume production of hot dog and hamburger buns and pan breads by reducing mixing time and improving shaping and consistency on the line. In one controlled trial, mix time for hamburger buns was cut by two-and-a-half minutes using STR 701 R versus a control.

Saf Pro® Star-Zyme™ AST 300

Saf Pro® Star-Zyme™ AST 300 is another clean label enzyme blend that creates long-term softness and can lower costs for producers and retail stores. In addition to contributing to improved dough machinability, AST 300 inhibits staling and extends the shelf life of a range of applications. Finished baked goods that remain soft and fresh for longer improve efficiencies and result in cost savings for bakeries and retail stores by requiring fewer deliveries and reducing waste on store shelves.

Saf Pro® Frozen 3.1

Raw frozen dough that is intended to be thawed, proofed, and baked has a special set of considerations, as it must tolerate being frozen for many months followed by thawing and baking up to be crispy with a consistent volume and texture. Saf Pro® Frozen 3.1 is an enzyme-based bread improver that improves freezing tolerance and extends the shelf life for all types of raw frozen dough applications. An extended shelf life in the freezer results in cost efficiencies by allowing for longer distribution periods that benefit bakers, retailers, and end consumers.

Deactivated Yeast for Clean Label Dough Improvement

Certain doughs, like pizzas and baguettes, require long mixing times at high speeds, which can put a strain on production efficiencies. Formulating with deactivated yeast helps improve and control the manufacturing process and contributes added dough improving benefits.

Saf Pro® Relax 200

Saf Pro® Relax 200 is a natural, deactivated yeast that improves processing for cost efficiencies. It shortens mix times by up to 30 percent, thus reducing or eliminating the need for ice which can result from mixer refrigeration that can’t keep up with longer mix times. Relax 200 also improves elasticity and reduces tearing for consistent sizing and shaping of dough from the beginning of the line to the end, which means less reworking of the dough and improved manufacturing productivity.

Realize Cost Efficiencies with Lesaffre

As production costs continue to rise, industrial bakeries can realize cost-saving efficiencies when formulating with effective, clean label solutions from Lesaffre. Bakeries interested in trying Lesaffre’s ingredients in their own formulations can benefit from the supplier’s full-scale free samples and diversely experienced technical team that frequently advise customers on-site at their own facilities. Lesaffre’s experts have a deep understanding of commercial bakery production as well as extensive experience in replacing traditional dough improvers with clean label alternatives. Visit LesaffreBaking.com to learn more about our solutions for improving production efficiency and reducing costs or to contact our technical support team.

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