Your stickiest tortilla challenges, solved!

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The tortilla is emerging as a superstar among the many convenient food choices catering to consumer demand. And why not? It can wrap up just about any filling and deliver a satisfying meal any time of day. But while the tortilla may be basic, there are some tricks to getting it just right – which means soft, flexible and fresh.

DSM tortilla expert and technical service manager Gary Tull Jr., works side-by-side with tortilla producers to enhance their recipes with the use of enzymes, helping them to avoid common pitfalls such as zippering and cracking, while also leveraging market trends like fortification and clean label. I sat down with Gary to unwrap the secrets (and solutions) behind the ideal flour tortilla…

Let’s talk about freshness, and more specifically, shelf life. What can producers expect, and how do enzymes contribute?

Gary: It’s important to remember when talking about freshness that enzymes – particularly BakeZyme® Master, our Maltogenic Amylase – can maintain freshness for a long time period. How long exactly depends on the exact recipe, but a shelf life of 15-30 days using just BakeZyme® Master is achievable. Beyond that, it’s necessary to have a synergy of other enzymes to maintain resilience and foldability, for example, throughout shelf life. 

The range of solutions in our flour tortilla toolbox can help producers achieve this synergy.

All manufacturers want to avoid the zippering (velcroing) effect that can occur when a stack of tortillas is separated. What’s the best way to prevent this?

Gary: Zippering is especially common in the extended shelf-life tortillas [15-30 days]. These tortillas are higher in fat, and there are usually more of them in the package - perhaps 20 or 30 - so there is more weight on top of each tortilla. The issue starts with the pillowing effect that can happen during baking, which creates a bubble on the tortilla. 

They’re then stacked on each other in the package, and when separated that bubble is the thinnest part and is easy to tear and delaminate. To prevent this, it’s crucial to have a synergy of Phospholipase, pure Lipase and Hydrocolloids. Using Glucose Oxidase can also help by controlling gas bubbles in the dough.

Speaking of dough, one of the most desired properties is proper extensibility for dough handling. How can enzymes help?

Gary: Extensibility is so important – it enables the dough to stretch without retracting, resulting in larger tortillas. Our flour tortilla toolbox has two enzymes that can help: BakeZyme® FXP 1500 BG and BakeZyme® PPU 95.000.

BakeZyme® FXP 1500 BG is a Fungal Hemicellulase that specifically targets water-extractable arabinoxylans that frees up water and leads to a better extensibility overall.

It’s important to be careful on the levels in order to avoid stickiness - nearly all reducing agents are going to have that same effect. BakeZyme® PPU 95.000 is a Fungal Protease, and it is excellent because it’s not too aggressive. Using this will also help to control extensibility. Outside of enzyme solutions, Glutathione can promote extensibility, but its cost in use is higher and it requires higher dosage.

With so much consumer interest in getting more healthfulness from everyday foods, some tortilla manufacturers are asking about reducing fat with the use of enzymes. Is this possible?

Gary: Absolutely. Looking at our tortilla toolbox, using a synergy of BakeZyme® Master and Panamore® Golden and possibly BakeZyme® L 80.000 will provide the desired freshness, softness and the necessary emulsification properties while creating a lower-in-fat tortilla.

Which trends can we expect to see next in the tortilla market?

Gary: Consumer demand for better-for-you options is definitely a trend that will continue to gain momentum. The health benefits that consumers can already see in products in the bread aisle can also be delivered in a tortilla. This means that anything that can be added to enhance the ingredient declaration or nutritional panel is generating interest among producers, including fortification with superstar ingredients like Omega-3. The tortilla market is surely evolving toward delivering more healthy options.

Ready to talk (more) tortillas? Contact Gary or myself to learn more about the solutions mentioned here and the complete DSM Flour Tortilla toolbox.

Descargue aquí nuestro catálogo en español y conozca cómo le podemos ayudar a producir tortillas irresistibles.

Published on

31 May 2021

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