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Catalysts for change: Enzymes enable clean label development

  • 14 May 2020
  • 3 min

Clean and minimal labeling is one of the biggest trends in the food sector, with consumer interest in “all natural” products running at an all-time high. It’s all about addressing the consumer desire for simpler, back-to-basics propositions.

Enzymes enjoy a great advantage when it comes to simplifying product lists. When they are used as processing aids, they are not required to appear on the label. In some cases, however, like in cheeses for example, they do appear on the label as they are used as functional ingredients rather than as processing aids. When used to replace emulsifiers like monoglycerides, DATEM and SSL in baked goods, they do appear as simply ‘enzyme’ rather than DATEM or SSL which are extremely chemical sounding names. In most cases replacing these emulsifiers with enzyme results in cost saving as well.

“Clean label is driving bakery product development, where the trend is towards using enzymes for emulsifier replacement, for both cost and labeling reasons. DATEM and SSL are typically used in yeast raised bakery goods due to their dough strengthening effect. Monoglycerides are used as a crumb texturing agent. But enzymes can extend shelf-life and replace these chemical emulsifiers,” says Beeta Little, Technical Development Manager at Brenntag Food & Nutrition (F&N) in North America.

It is this shelf-life extension advantage that is also helping to spur development, where concerns around food waste can be addressed. It has been estimated by the UN that if food waste were a country, it would be the third largest greenhouse emissions contributor in the world. The bread sector is part of this too. In fact in 2016, almost one-third of bread produced in the US was wasted. Of the bread that makes it to the US markets each year, 68% is consumed, while 20% is wasted in the kitchen and 12% is wasted in the store. It means that in 2016 a shocking 2,682 million kilograms of bread was simply thrown away in the US alone.

“Even though bread is one of the highest consumed products percentage wise, there is still a lot waste because it gets stale or moldy. Even the stores have to throw out a lot of inhouse products,” notes Beeta. “Staling is the number one reason for throwing bread away. Enzymes can play a role in countering staling and thereby help to reduce bread waste,” she adds.

Development within the anti-staling enzyme space is ongoing. For example, Brenntag F&N North America partner AB Enzymes now offers VERON MAXIMA, a third generation maltogenic amylase with no dosing limitations that can provide extended shelf-life, softness, and resilience to the bread. The use of this innovative enzyme can deliver a shelf-life of more than 2 weeks. It should, however, be seen as part of a holistic solution, where a clean label anti-microbial would also be required for preservation against molding.

Another key innovation from the AB Enzymes portfolio is VERON GMS+, which is being offered as an alpha amylase to fully or partially replace SSL or monoglycerides and ensure predictable prices and cost savings. VERON GMS+ is used for the treatment of flour and can be added to bread improvers, which are used in the manufacturing of yeast-raised baked goods. The product significantly improves the crumb softness, in addition to providing a homogeneous, and fine crumb structure. Depending on the recipe and application, 25-40% of emulsifier costs can be saved when using this enzyme. Other solutions being highlighted for the bakery space include VERON HYPERBAKE ST, a lipase enzyme which can replace DATEM at an exchange ratio of 0.6-0.7g for 100g DATEM.

But enzymes innovation goes far beyond bakery. Brenntag F&N in North America now offers fruit and wine enzymes under its umbrella too. Through their AB Enzymes partnership, the company is also clearly positioned to address the protein and grain industries as well.

There is a strong future for development within this space, with so many untapped areas out there. It is about taking a fresh look at a specific enzyme and trying it out in new applications. Take transglutaminase, for example, which is traditionally used in the cheese arena. Brenntag F&N in North America has now done some work with this enzyme in vegan yogurt and cheese applications. “It turns out that the same enzyme can have different applications in terms of texturizing,” says Beeta. “It was available, but it wasn’t commonly being used for that purpose so far,” she notes.

Get in touch

New opportunities are emerging for enzymes which can truly function as catalysts for change in the food & beverage arena. Get in touch with the Brenntag F&N application team in North America today to see what enzymes can do to help overcome your next product development challenge.

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