Optimizing Ingredients

How to Use 50% Less Yeast & Get the Same Rise

Microencapsulation technologies have long been used to stabilize oxygen-sensitive materials and increase the shelf life of biological ingredients such as probiotics, enzymes and yeast in pelleted feeds for monogastric animals like poultry and swine.

But can these same technologies improve the stability of an oxygen-sensitive material such as baker’s yeast? You bet they can.

Baker’s yeast is very expensive. To extend shelf life, manufacturers typically package products in vacuum-sealed containers that promise stability of 1 to 2 years. But once the seal is disrupted, the shelf life of the yeast decreases dramatically due to its sensitivity to oxygen.

By microencapsulating yeast particles, manufacturers no longer need to pack their products under nitrogen. Coated, stabilized yeast can be exposed to oxygen without degrading, and when used at a rate of 1-1.5% per 100 pounds of flour, provides better performance than raw dry yeast that has a poor shelf life when exposed to air.

Moreover, one Canadian customer showed a 25% reduction in yeast use when slow-release salt was used. Another product developer in Texas demonstrated a 50% reduction in yeast use (5 grams/Kg for coated yeast versus 10 grams/Kg for raw baker’s yeast) with no effect on dough rheology.

Microencapsulated yeast also offers bakers additional benefits – by eliminating the need for overdosing, decreasing product usage and improving functionality and storage savings, given that elaborate and expensive handling systems are no longer required.

Typical applications for slow-release, shelf-stable baker’s yeast include pizza, muffins, pastry, bread, tortilla, cakes, brownies and even bread mixes that are sold to smaller bakeries.

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