Amylase enzymes improve fermentation and extend shelf life.

Enzymes are the champion of natural solutions for dough improvers. Different types, or groups, have different functions, however. Today, we’re going to take a look at Amylase.

What’s Amylase?

It’s a family of starch-degrading enzymes that work together to improve fermentation and extend shelf life.
A few of its functions are:

  • Provide fermentable and reducing sugars.
  • Accelerate yeast fermentation and boost gassing for optimum dough expansion during proofing and baking
  • Intensify flavors and crust color by enhancing Maillard browning and caramelization reactions.
  • Reduce dough/batter viscosity during starch gelatinization in the oven.
  • Extend oven rise/spring and improve product volume.
  • Act as crumb softeners by inhibiting staling.
  • Modify dough handling properties by reducing stickiness.

What are the optimal conditions for activity?

  • pH: 5.5–6.0
  • Temperature range: 104–140°F (40–60°C)
  • Contact time between enzyme and substrate: at least 60 minutes of dough processing
  • Water availability: preferably aw of 0.9 or higher
  • Amount of damaged and gelatinized starch substrate
  • Enzyme dosage relative to substrate: Alpha-amylase is usually added to bread formulations at 0.002–0.006% (20 to 60 ppm) based on flour weight.

The enzymatic activity of α-amylase can be quantified analytically. One unit (1U) is defined as the amount of enzyme needed to release 1 μmol reducing groups, i.e. maltose/min from soluble starch at 25°C at pH 7.0.