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High-fibre bread hits the mainstream

A nutritious slice can be light, soft – and e-number free
New opportunities are shaking up old perceptions of high-fibre wheat bread as a heavy, compact phenomenon that belongs to the niche health segment. Today it is possible to make nutritious 100% wholemeal bread that meets all the quality expectations of the mainstream market.

The breakthrough follows the development of new enzyme-emulsifier solutions with the capacity to give wholemeal and fibre-enriched white bread a similar volume, softness and fresh-keeping to traditional white bread.

Here at DuPont, our application specialists have worked with one enzyme complex in particular – a combination of amylase, xylanase and hexose oxidase and our new fresh-keeping G+ enzyme technology with the addition of ascorbic acid.

In wholemeal bread formulations, the complex has displayed an ability to strengthen the gluten structure and, through the G+ technology, deliver a longer-lasting softness and moistness to the crumb.

Emulsifiers work alongside enzymes to support the gluten network and optimise volume. The emulsifier combination that we find works best in wholemeal bread is distilled monoglycerides and diacetyl tartaric acid ester of mono- and diglycerides (DATEM). Our test results show a close match with the volume of standard white bread.

In wholemeal formulations where a specific fibre level is required, bakers can choose to add the emulsifier separately rather than as part of an integrated enzyme-emulsifier system. The emulsifier dose can then be adjusted up or down as required.

Our results with a standard wholemeal bread formulation show that volume is significantly improved when using the enzyme complex with emulsifiers and 3% gluten.

Testing a cleaner label
On a number of markets, today, we experience a growing demand for bakery ingredient systems with a clean label. While still not necessary to declare the enzyme on product packaging, the emulsifier e-number must be clearly marked.

Our response to this trend has been to work on an enzyme-only solution for wholemeal bread, using lipase as an emulsifier substitute alongside the amylase, xylanase and hexose oxidase complex.

Lipase is already widely used in white toast bread as a cheaper alternative to DATEM, where it provides crumb structure and almost the same volume and strength. In 100% wholemeal bread, our main challenge lies in securing the right lipase balance. Too much lipase, and bread volume is reduced; too little, and we compromise crumb uniformity – unlike DATEM, which is easier to dose.

To make up for the lower volume obtained with the pure enzyme solution, we raised the gluten dose to 5%, up from the 3% typically used in wholemeal formulations with an enzyme-emulsifier system. The final wholemeal bread has the same soft, fresh feel as the recipe with emulsifier, although with a slightly chewier texture. Due to the extra gluten addition, the cost is roughly the same.

Our goal is to identify healthy bread solutions that appeal to all sectors of the population. We all need fibre in our life, just as much as we need to enjoy the food we eat. This is an area of continuing focus for us.

We used GRINDSTED® Fiberline 3105, PANODAN® DATEM, DIMODAN® Monoglycerides and Litesse® polydextrose for our trials.

Solution 1, containing the enzyme complex, emulsifier and 3% gluten, produced a similar bread firmness to solution 2, containing the enzyme complex, lipase and 5% gluten. Both performed significantly better than control solution 3 with 5% gluten only.

All the parameters measured in this sensory evaluation are associated with fresh-keeping . Solution 1 and solution 2 produce a similar result, performing significantly better than the control solution 3 to which only 5% gluten was added.