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Liquid margarine – the new carrier for enzymes?

With prolonged enzyme activity, a new era of cake automation may have dawned.

The work to develop a liquid alternative to block cake margarine is primarily about reducing the content of unhealthy saturated fats. But, as we mention in the film, liquid cake margarine brings a series of opportunities to optimize cake processing – not least by serving as a carrier of softness solutions.

A typical softness solution may comprise whipping emulsifiers, for improved batter aeration and cake volume, and anti-staling enzymes, which improve the cake’s fresh-keeping quality during shelf life.

Being fat-based, the addition of an emulsifier to liquid margarine is unproblematic. Enzymes present more of a challenge as, in a water-containing system, they tend to lose activity.

Study of enzyme viability
In one of our enzyme labs, we are in the process of running a five-month study to find out just how long our G4-amylases remain viable in liquid cake margarine. The G4-amylases are well suited to cakes due to their high tolerance of sugar.

A viability analysis conducted three weeks into the study shows enzyme activity is still above 99%. This is particularly promising as, in many industrial bakeries, margarine is used within a month of its production – when, according to our findings, enzyme activity is likely to remain high. How the enzyme fares through the remainder of the study will be interesting to follow.

Monitoring fresh-keeping quality
Alongside the enzyme viability study, our bakery team has set up another three-month trial to monitor how well cakes made with liquid margarine retain their fresh-keeping quality over time. Fresh-keeping optimization is a key objective of the enzyme activity that takes place during baking – the enzyme being deactivated once its job is complete. 

In this trial, of course, we hope to observe a similar performance to cakes baked with block margarine and separate addition of G4-amylase, which is able to maintain cake softness and moistness for at least two months.

A positive outcome from these tests will herald a step up in the automation of industrial bakeries – and narrow the margin for error when preparing the cake batter mix.

We are testing POWERSoft® Cake Enzymes from the DuPont™ Danisco® portfolio.