Enzymes are rapidly becoming very important
to the Baking Industry. Enzyme supplements are used in baking to make
consistently high-quality products by enabling better dough handling,
providing anti-staling properties, and allowing control over crumb texture
and color, taste, moisture, and volume.
Most bread is made of wheat, which has naturally occurring enzymes that, when water is added, modify the starch, protein, and fiber the wheat is made of. The yeast that is added produces carbon dioxide from simple sugars, which makes the bread rise. However, the quality of wheat flour varies due to natural variation, the time of year it is picked, disparities in milling, and many other inconsistencies. Chemical supplements that were used in the baking industry are being replaced by enzymes. For instance, the enzyme oxidase can replace chemical oxidants, such as bromates, used to strengthen gluten.
Gluten is the viscous and elastic network found inside the bread that gives it its unique consistency and holds the carbon dioxide that makes the bread rise. The reason wheat is the primary grain used in baking is because it special gluten that is not found in other grain such as barley and rye, which produce denser and harder breads. Oftentimes, enzymes are added to these other grains to weaken its gluten and produce biscuits, crackers, cookies and other crisp bread dough.
The standard procedure to make minor adjustments to the amylase levels of milled baking flours by the addition of small levels of fungal alpha amylase. Recent studies in many centres have shown that enzymes other than simple alpha amylase can contribute to the performance of the flour. It is also noted that application of non-amylase enzymes in addition to regular levels of amylase can make substantial improvements to flour behaviour. Furthermore the optimum adjustment required will vary according to the intended application of the flour and also as the cereal ages in store.