People Just Can’t Get Enough Tortillas!

Tortillas are wonder they are an ever-growing sector of the baking industry and a staple in many households.

Can we just appreciate tortillas for second?

They’re delicious. They go with almost anything. The corn versions are naturally gluten-free. It’s no wonder they are an ever-growing sector of the baking industry and a staple in many households. In fact, the global tortilla market is projected to reach $48.51 billion at a CAGR of 5.10% by 2023.

For bakers, corn and flour tortillas offer up a lot of options, from the kinds made to methods for production.

Three kinds are:

  1. Wheat Flour Tortillas: produced from refined or patent flours, they can be either yeast-leavened or chemically-leavened. These tortillas have a thickness of 2–3 mm and diameter of 15 to 33 cm. Most wheat tortillas are industrially manufactured by hot-press or die-cut processes.
  2. Fresh Masa Tortillas: made with a fresh masa or “whole corn dough” following the Nixtamalization process. Corn kernels are treated with a calcium hydroxide solution and ground to produce masa. The fresh masa is mixed with other ingredients and additives, and then sheeted between rollers and formed to desired dimensions.
  3. Dry Masa Flour Tortillas: made from commercially-available dry fresh masa and mixed with other ingredients in the bakery. This type of tortillas is preferred by food service facilities and retail bakeshops.

Here’s a flour tortilla formula:

  • Patent flour, 11–12% protein content (100%)
  • Water (45.0–60.0%)
  • Fresh Yeast (compressed) (0.1–1.0%)
  • Salt (0.1–2.5%)
  • Shortening (2–10%)
  • Gums (water holding improvers and dough strengtheners) (0.3–4.0%)
  • Soy flour (water holder and nutritional profile improver) (1.0–5.0%)
  • Vital wheat gluten (dough strengthener) (0.3–5.0%)
  • Non-fat dry milk (0.3–2.0%)
  • Ascorbic acid (oxidizing agent) (0–200 ppm based on flour weight)
  • Vinegar 100 grain or 10% acetic acid content (mold inhibitor) (0–1.0 lb / 100 lb flour)


  • Scaling/metering of ingredients
  • Mixing
  • Dividing and rounding
  • Proofing
  • Sheeting/stretching or hot-pressing
  • Baking
  • Cooling
  • Counting and stacking of units
  • Packaging

About the Author:

Lin Carson, PhD
Dr. Lin Carson’s love affair with baking started over 25 years ago when she earned her BSc degree in Food Science & Technology at the Ohio State University. She went on to earn her MSc then PhD from the Department of Grain Science at Kansas State University. Seeing that technical information was not freely shared in the baking industry, Dr. Lin decided to launch BAKERpedia to cover this gap. Today, as the world’s only FREE and comprehensive online technical resource for the commercial baking industry, BAKERpedia is used by over half a million commercial bakers, ingredient sellers, equipment suppliers and baking entrepreneurs annually. You can catch Dr. Lin regularly on the BAKED In Science podcast solving baking problems. For more information on Dr. Lin, subscribe to her "Ask Dr. Lin" YouTube Channel, or follow her on LinkedIn.

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