Cracking down on acrylamide
20 Jun 2022
There’s a perfect storm of global challenges impacting the food and beverage industry – ingredient shortages, rising energy prices, ongoing pandemic repercussions, war – and the baking industry stands at their crossroads. While the recent reopening of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports to grain exports is a welcome development that might resolve some of the problems in shortages and global prices, many of us – including you, bakers, millers, bakery manufacturers – are still trying to stay ahead of the issues and anticipate what might come next.
Whether you are a flour miller or bakery ingredient manufacturer, the impact of raw material and ingredient shortages is acute. These are certainly one consequence of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. We know now that this will trigger both short and long-term disruption to global flour supply, harvest, and quality beyond 2022. But another key contributor is rebounding demand for certain ingredients in the wake of the pandemic. It’s an encouraging shift that’s happening more quickly than many expected. The result is a steep increase in costs that is hitting producers’ bottom line as well as consumers’ wallets.
At DSM we’re working every day with bakery producers on solutions that can help reduce cost pressures. Ascorbic acid, for example, is an important ingredient to optimize functionality of gluten, but costs are extremely volatile right now. Our own ascorbic acid is one solution, and we also have alternative enzymes that can reduce the proportions in your recipes.
Similarly, a lipid shortage is contributing to higher prices for emulsifiers – important for dough conditioning. Customers looking into replacement of emulsifiers such as DATEM, SSL, and CSL could benefit from our Panamore® range of enzymes. They are well-proven in the market to help improve dough tolerance, baking performance, crumb structure, softness, and volume. Importantly, they deliver this while preserving the quality and consistency of the finished product – whether a baguette or a loaf of bread.
Vital wheat gluten is yet another ingredient significantly impacting overall cost price, and we’re working with both flour millers and bakery ingredient manufacturers to reduce the amount of added gluten in their formulations. This can be accomplished in a number of ways, using a natural enzymatic solution or the tools to develop one, such as glucose oxidase or lipase. No singular solution fits every recipe, and there are always limitations to consider, which is why we work very closely with each customer to understand their specific needs.
Many of these challenges require a fast, agile response, and we share this sense of urgency. Still, it’s important to problem solve with the bigger picture in mind. For example, we know that gluten reduction and emulsifier reduction cannot be done at the same time. The flour miller doing one and the bakery ingredient manufacturers doing the other will find that these conflict when their products come together in the bakery. This is another key reason to work together to solve our industry’s challenges – we can all get stronger and smarter.
If there’s one thing we have learned already in this situation, it’s that we are interconnected – in good times and in these trying ones, too. Our goal remains to be a reliable partner that delivers as promised, whether with ingredient solutions or a fresh perspective that helps you break through roadblocks. I like to think of us as ‘sparring partners’ that can listen, challenge, and share the knowledge and experience gained over decades in the industry.
Reach out to me to discuss how DSM can help your business. I look forward to talking with you.
20 June 2022