Fava or faba beans can be used in gluten-free baking, and as a source of protein.

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.

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