Enzymes may help to preserve quality in donuts during freeze-and-thaw cycles.

Enzymes answer the call

Enzymes could be a way to extend shelf life in a product while meeting clean label criteria on the ingredient list.

“Shelf life needs to be considered from multiple points of view, including taste, texture and spoilage,” Mr. Limmex said.

Enzymes extend the shelf life of baked foods by maintaining a desired soft texture in bakery products.

“Kerry’s Biobake enzymes act on the starch naturally present in the flour to keep bakery products soft for a longer period of time,” he said.

Soft texture in baked items may be achieved with various technologies, including enzymes, emulsifiers and gums, he added.


“Enzymes are perceived favorably by consumers from a clean label perspective and work well to increase shelf life in a number of bakery applications,” Mr. Limmex said.

Enzymes have been shown to enhance crumb softness and moistness over a product’s shelf life, Ms. Thomas said. Multiple factors may influence shelf life when products are sold online, she added.

“Enzymes are one way of providing a fresher-for-longer baked good or snack but really only have an impact once that product is packaged,” she said. “Packaging and shipping can be key protectors of shelf life quality for food and beverage goods, with overnight and even two-day delivery providing fresher products as well as the packaging materials utilized, from cardboard to bubble wrap to dry ice and more.”

Many different types of enzyme systems are used to improve crumb softness over time, Ms. Thomas said.

“Some (enzyme) solutions provide great softness with moistness while others deliver improved crumb softness with great crumb springiness,” she said. “In the end, bakery product manufacturers must be tuned into what type of softness and mouthfeel that consumers want from finished goods and then ensure the selection of an appropriate enzyme system.”

Banana bread with no added sugar
Corbion’s Ultra Fresh Premium uses a synergistic combination of different enzymes to achieve freshness and shelf life while allowing for a significant reduction of added sugar in a bread formula.

Corbion’s Ultra Fresh Premium uses a synergistic combination of different enzymes to achieve freshness and shelf life while allowing for a significant reduction of added sugar in a bread formula, according to the company. Ultra Fresh Premium won a Food Expo Innovation Award from the Institute of Food Technologists in 2015.

Corbion also offers Ultra Fresh Sweet, an enzyme system designed specifically for donuts and other sweet items. The ingredient has been shown to increase crumb moistness, softness and resilience. An alternative to simple enzymes, gums, starches and sugars, Ultra Fresh Sweet creates up to 45 days or more of superior eating quality, with smooth, tender and resilient crumb texture, according to Corbion.

“At Corbion, we offer comprehensive freshness solutions within our Ultra Fresh and Ultra Fresh Sweet portfolios to protect the quality of finished products and ensure they stay fresher longer,” Ms. Sargent said. “Our Ultra Fresh product line helps bakery manufacturers deliver products that range from soft and moist to soft and resilient. Because of their versatility, usage rates vary depending on application and required days of shelf life.

“We also offer a revolutionary enzyme solution that is specially designed to keep sweet baked goods fresher longer. Our tiered offering provides optimal freshness for snack cakes, muffins, donuts and more. In addition, these solutions help ensure higher quality through freeze-and-thaw cycles.”

Snack cake and muffin
Enzyme solutions may provide optimal freshness for snack cakes and muffins.

AB Enzymes, Darmstadt, Germany, now offers Veron Mac, a maltogenic amylase enzyme for use in bread improvers that allow companies to achieve a new level of softness, freshness and tenderness.

“The first generation of e.s.l. (extended shelf life enzymes), primarily based on classical bacterial amylases, had some drawbacks, including their effects on dough properties and potential to yield a gummy crumb with low elasticity if overdosed or not properly baked,” said Ralf Neumann, customer solutions director, baking enzymes, for AB Enzymes. “The second generation of e.s.l. enzymes, based on maltogenic amylase, no longer had these drawbacks and at the same time led to improved anti-staling properties. It works by breaking down flour starch in a highly effective enzymatic reaction, providing crumb softness over a longer period of time, improved elasticity and freshness, and an extra tender crumb structure.”

The optimal dosage of Veron Mac depends on factors such as formulation, process, flour and desired degree of shelf life extension, he said. Dosage thus should be determined based on baking trials.

“Bread improver companies can easily incorporate Veron Mac into existing improver formulations,” Mr. Neumann said. “Its broad dosage range, which has no negative impact on the dough properties or processing parameters, will enable you to achieve just the desired shelf life extending effect in the final baked products.”

The characteristics delivered by Veron Mac will lead to less packaging, fewer deliveries to retailers and less waste (returns, disposals).

Bread dough
AB Enzymes' Veron Mac may be incorporated into existing bread improver formulations.

Veron Mac may not be used for a process for the production of a baked product from a dough in order to retard staling of the baked product or for any other process for the production of a baked product where the effect of retarding staling of the baked product is implicitly achieved before expiration of U.S. patent RE38,507 E, at latest until March 8 with the territory of the United States.

AB Enzymes is part of ABF Ingredients, a business of London-based Associated British Foods, P.L.C. (ABF). AB Mauri is also a business of Associated British Foods.

Several other ingredient suppliers offer ways to extend shelf life in a natural manner.

Bread Partners, Inc., Cinnaminson, N.J., offers a Titan brand, non-G.M.O. mold inhibitor for all yeast-raised doughs and a Softa Pan brand, non-G.M.O. enzyme-based crumb softener for extended shelf life.

Cain Food Industries, Inc., Dallas, offers Alpha Soft, an anti-staling enzyme system that may be used in yeast-raised products to enhance softness and extend shelf life. The company offers AlphaFresh mold inhibitors that are derived through a natural fermentation process. Unlike synthetic mold inhibitors such as calcium propionate, the acids lower pH levels and limit potential mold growth in bakery items.