As daily routines have been upended over the past few months, consumers are figuring out a ‘new normal’ – adjusting old habits, creating new ones. Making that daily trip to the bakery for fresh bread probably isn’t happening, for example. But maybe enjoying a lunchtime sandwich at home with school-aged children or a partner is now a highlight. The craving for normalcy and comfort is strong and often tied to food. Is there anything more comforting than a delicious slice of bread?
The baking industry’s ‘holy grail’ has long been to produce bread with a long shelf life and bread that stays fresh for longer. As a key partner to bakeries and bread improvers, DSM has fine-tuned its portfolio of baking enzymes to reflect the trend that freshness, when it comes to baking, goes beyond softness.
In fact, consumers expect a lot from their bread. It starts with the ‘squeeze test’ – a quick and basic way for consumers to tell (and feel) if a loaf of bread or pack of buns on the store shelf is still soft and fresh. Naturally, a hard, dry loaf will not be added to the shopping cart. Once at home, that loaf of bread needs resilience to stay soft, as well as a moist (but never gummy) crumb in the mouth. Sandwich toppings should add only delicious taste, without becoming soggy, and a loaf stored on the counter should maintain all these elements for one, two – even three weeks.
These are not small challenges for bread producers, who are pressured to deliver high quality, consistently delicious products, from sandwich loaves to sweet roll and buns. DSM’s new BakeZyme® solutions can help bread producers meet the freshness challenges that can make or break consumer choices. Our BakeZyme® Fresh XL is a 2nd generation maltogenic amylase that improves bread’s textural shelf life, keeping it softer for longer. Industrial bread producers looking to significantly improve moistness in bread loaves can turn to Fresh XL to ensure consumers can enjoy fresh bread slices for longer (even when refrigerated). In baking trials, bread produced with BakeZyme® Fresh XL retains softer crumb and resilience during shelf life.
BakeZyme® Master takes freshness even further by providing the best possible resilience and moistness over time. Bread produced with BakeZyme® Master remains soft and moist with good flexibility even after long shelf life. Freshness increasingly matters in refrigerated applications, and Master outperforms here too, so that a sandwich brought from home to work or purchased on-the-go still tastes fresh and delicious and maintains its resilience. This consumer habit, and the overall trend toward convenience paired with freshness, will likely rebound.
When versatility matters, bread producers can count on BakeZyme® Master to deliver reliable results beyond sandwich loaves. It performs consistently in low pH applications, such as rye bread, and high sugar varieties - an indulgent brioche, for example - and has the added advantage of being less dependent on calcium, performing effectively regardless of water hardness and the presence of calcium ions in the flour. These benefits deliver peace of mind for bread producers needing consistent results, batch after batch, across a broad range of bread varieties.
Keeping bread fresher for longer means a better bread-eating experience for consumers. That’s a big win, because stale bread doesn’t usually please the palate. Twenty million slices of bread are thrown away annually in the UK1, while Dutch households waste 9 kg of bread per year2. It’s an issue recognized by both industry players and consumers and is especially relevant at the moment, when people are making far fewer visits to the grocery store, so long-lasting freshness from their bread products is a real boon. Crumb firmness is the key indicator of staling, and manufacturers can turn to BakeZyme® solutions to delay the onset of crumb firmness and improve bread’s properties during longer shelf life. This means fresher bread for consumers and less food waste for our planet – and that’s a win-win.
Consumers have enjoyed the taste of fresh bread for ages. But expectations for bread today are high – in addition to freshness, consumers want a high quality, moist and flavorful slice of bread, whether on its own or in a sandwich, pulled from the fridge or taken from that favorite loaf sitting on the counter. That’s a lot to deliver on for bread producers. DSM’s broad portfolio of baking enzymes can help manufacturers deliver on the bread qualities that matter most, including freshness, softness and a good dose of comfort.
Interested to learn more about how your bread products can pass the ‘squeeze test’ and deliver on comfort and freshness? Feel free to contact me for more information – I love to talk about bread!
Our baking experts work closely with our customers around the world to create baked goods that taste good and look great. Scientific curiosity and thorough research in the baked goods arena is key to our innovation power. Therefore, we deeply invest in research to discover and develop baking ingredients that help manufacturers of baked goods improve baking performance and product efficiency in bread, cakes, biscuits and snacks.
1 The Netherlands Nutrition Centre (Stichting Voedingscentrum Nederland), Supplementary memorandum Food waste in Dutch households in 2016, https://mobiel.voedingscentrum.nl/Assets/Uploads/voedingscentrum/Documents/Service/English/Supplementary%20memorandum%20Food%20waste%20in%20Dutch%20households%20in%202016.pdf
2 The Netherlands Nutrition Centre (Stichting Voedingscentrum Nederland), Consumer food waste - fact sheet, https://mobiel.voedingscentrum.nl/Assets/Uploads/voedingscentrum/Documents/Professionals/Pers/Factsheets/English/Fact%20sheet%20Consumer%20food%20waste.pdf
15 June 2020