DATEM is an emulsifier used in bread making.

Diacetyl Tartaric Acid Ester of Mono- and Diglycerides (DATEM)

What is DATEM?

DATEM is an emulsifier used in bread making to strengthen the dough during processing. It helps improve texture and increase volume in a variety of products. Classified as an emulsifier, DATEM is derived from plant sources.


Even though it is characterized as an emulsifier, its function is not completely understood, it functions at the air/water interface within gluten proteins and flour lipids to improve gas-holding capacity of the dough.1 This provides for a stronger dough that can be processed in a high-stress system, and a finer crumb grain with higher bread volume, as a result of this system. As it interacts mainly with gluten proteins to strengthen the dough, its use is redundant in gluten-free doughs.2


DATEM composition

Chemical structure of DATEM.


DATEM is naturally derived from vegetable sources e.g. soybean oil. It is made by reacting diacetyl tartaric anhydride with mono- and diglycerides resulting in the above structure.

DATEM molecular bread structure

DATEM strengthens the gluten membrane and helps retain the steam and gas.

Benefits of DATEM

  • Interacts with wheat gluten to strengthen its structure in yeast raised dough, contributing to tolerance towards variation in flour quality.
  • Creates better dough elasticity, resulting in better oven-spring and loaf volume, and contributing to tolerance towards process variation.
  • Provides partial gluten replacement.
  • Excellent fat distribution, resulting in smaller cells, a more uniform structure and a smoother crumb texture.
  • Reduces fat usage (up to 20%) in biscuit formulas
  • Replaces Lecithin
  • Improves the volume of non-wheat flour inclusions.3

DATEM increase bread volume

Bread made with DATEM (B) shows an improvement in volume compared to bread made without DATEM (A)

With and without DATEM

Bread crumb made without DATEM (A) and with DATEM (B) shows an improvement in texture


Powder DATEM can be used at 0.25 to 0.5% (flour weight) at the mixer with flour or minor ingredients. Liquid DATEM can be added along with the oil/fat.

FDA/EU Regulations

FDA GRAS approved ingredient. EU approved ingredient (E472e).


  1. Seta, Lucia, Noemi Baldino, Domenico Gabriele, Francesca R. Lupi, and Bruno de Cindio. “The effect of surfactant type on the rheology of ovalbumin layers at the air/water and oil/water interfaces.” Food Hydrocolloids 29.2 (2012): 247-257.
  2. López‐Tenorio, Julián Alfredo, Eduardo Rodríguez‐Sandoval, and José Uriel Sepúlveda‐Valencia. “The Influence of Different Emulsifiers on the Physical and Textural Characteristics of Gluten‐Free Cheese Bread.” Journal of Texture Studies 46.4 (2015): 227-239.
  3. Schoenlechner, Regine, Marta Szatmari, Attila Bagdi, and Sandor Tömösközi. “Optimisation of bread quality produced from wheat and proso millet ( Panicum miliaceum L .) by adding emulsifiers, transglutaminase and xylanase.” LWT – Food Science and Technology 51.1 (2013): 361-366.