Dough strengthener. Bread improver. Crumb softener. A host of regulators and oxidizers.
The whole list falls into the category of dough conditioners. Their definition is pretty open-ended. If you’re looking for a way to improve consistency or quality, assist with mechanical dough processing, or optimize the supply chain, you’re looking for a dough conditioner.
How Do Dough Conditioners Work?
Simply, they enhance your dough. Enhance how? That depends on the type. Here what’s happening in the dough with a few common categories of dough conditioners:
- Emulsifiers (crumb softeners)
Interaction at the surface of the starch granule, less swelling and leaching of amylose, resulting in less starch retrogradation.
Examples: Monoglycerides, sodium stearoyl lactylate (SSL), calcium stearoyl lactylate (CSL)
Break down specific substrate molecules and change their properties.
Examples: Amylases, xylanases, lipases, proteases, oxidases, cellulases
- Oxidizing agents
Oxidize free sulfhydryl groups of gluten to form disulfide bonds, which produce more cross-linked gluten structures.
Examples: Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), azodicarbon-amide (ADA), potassium iodate, potassium bromate
- Reducing agents
Undo disulfide bonds (opposite reaction to oxidizing agents).
Examples: L-Cysteine, inactivated yeast
Learn more about many other types of dough conditioners and uses here!