It’s no secret that starch is the primary cause of staling in soft pastries. If you’re an experienced croissant baker, you may already deal with it in various ways, for example by using hydrates of distilled monoglycerides, which interact with starch to provide superior anti-staling performance.
But other flour components that cause pastries to lose their soft, fresh feel are also worth attention. Tackle them as well as the starch issue, and you can take pastries to the next level of long-lasting freshness.
The best way to do that is use a hydrate in combination with enzymes.
How can enzymes help?
Research shows that enzymes not only modify starch, slowing the staling process that sends softness into decline. They also modify arabinoxylan, a hemicellulose present in flour. When this happens, more free water becomes available for absorption by the gluten proteins during the dough-making phase, prolonging softness even further.
There is just one problem when using enzymes in fresh-keeping pastry applications – the high content of sugar, which can inhibit enzyme activity in a big way.
Here at DuPont, we have put a lot of energy into developing enzymes that overcome this issue. In application trials, we have compared the performance of a hydrate in combination with several enzyme solutions – with interesting results.
First of all, there is no doubt that a hydrate-enzyme combination gives superior, long lasting softness. What we have also seen is that the decline in softness from day 14 to day 28 is considerably less when using G4 enzymes compared to the market standard enzyme.
Equally encouraging is the high efficiency of the optimum hydrate-enzyme solution at a lower dose. That’s an opportunity for cost savings if your current anti-staling solution is a powder enzyme solution.
Of course, fresh-keeping pastries are also dependent on the fillings inside them. Here, it is important to choose a bake-stable solution that counters water migration from the pastry into the filling and vice versa.
So, for those of us who expect pastries to be a dull, dry encounter on the last day of their shelf life, our results show they don’t have to be. Even after 30 days.