Optimizing Ingredients

How Microencapsulated Leavening Agents Regulate & Deliver Consistent Rise

Maxx Leavening agents are used in doughs and batters to create a slow release foaming action that is intended to lighten and soften finished products creating better texture. Leavening agents react with moisture, heat, acidity, or other triggers to produce gas usually carbon dioxide (CO2) that becomes trapped as air within the dough. When a dough or batter is mixed, the starch in the flour mixes with the water in the dough to form a matrix which is often supported by proteins like gluten or other polysaccharides, then gelatinizes and “sets”. The holes left by the air bubbles remain, giving bakery products such as breads and cakes their soft, spongy-like textures.

Our Chemical Leavening Agents:

  • Prevent premature leavening. Slow down the release of leavening agents
  • Prevent interactions with fruit acids that cause premature leavening and color bleeding during thawing
  • Increase shelf life
  • Provide consistent leavening following subsequent freeze thaw abuse
  • Allow for more sustained leavening action
  • Prevent dough discoloration during storage

Typical applications for Maxx Performance Leavening Agents:

  • Rising crust pizza
  • Refrigerated pizza
  • Frozen and refrigerated dough
  • Frozen biscuit dough
  • Scoop and bake frozen biscuits and muffins
  • Canned refrigerated dough
  • Dry mix

Leavening agents are categorized as Biological or Chemical:

Biological Leaveners: In biological leavening agents, microorganisms that release CO2 as part of their lifecycle can be used to leaven products. Commonly, Baker’s yeast is most often used, however, some recipes also rely on certain bacteria. Yeast leaves behind waste byproducts that contribute to the distinctive flavor of yeast breads. Leavening with yeast is a process based on fermentation, physically changing the chemistry of the dough or batter as the yeast works. Unlike chemical leavening, which usually activates as soon as the water combines the acid and base chemicals (using Maxx Performance microencapsulation chemical leavening agents slows this process down and creates optimum leavening), yeast leavening requires proofing, which allows the yeast time to reproduce and consume carbohydrates in the flour. During fermentation and proofing, yeast converts sugar into alcohol and CO2 gas. The alcohol, of course, remains in the liquid phase of the dough, and the excess gas appears as internal bubbles. During baking, the dough or batter expands until it becomes saturated with CO2, at a high internal temperature (around 185°F, 85°C), the structure sets. The increase in volume at the beginning of baking is called oven spring and is due to the expansion of CO2 being driven out of the liquid phase plus evaporation and expansion of alcohol and water. Proofing temperatures affect oven spring. As the proofing temperature increases, the amount of dissolved CO2 decreases, thus cutting potential oven spring. Lower temperature proofing (85°F to 90°F, or 29°C to 32°C) may be more beneficial than the temperatures (105°F to 110°F, or 40°C to 43°C) commonly found today in commercial bakeries.

Biological leavening agents such as Baker’s yeast are unstable with significantly reduced shelf life. Maxx Performance technology can coat and protect baker’s yeast to increase shelf life, decrease packaging cost and deliver viable yeast that will release at the right time to create optimal cost efficient leavening.

Chemical Leaveners: Chemical leaveners are chemical mixtures or compounds that typically release CO2 or other gases when they react with moisture and heat; they are almost always based on a combination of acid and a base. When chemical leaveners are released they usually leave behind a chemical salt. Chemical leaveners are used in frozen and refrigerated dough type applications, in cakes, as well as cookies and numerous other applications where a long biological fermentation is impractical or undesirable. Since the chemical expertise required to create a functional chemical leaven without leaving behind off-flavors from the chemical precursors involved, such substances are often mixed into premeasured combinations for maximum results.

Chemical leavening agents include baking soda, baking powder, monocalcium phosphate, sodium acid pyrophosphate and others. Chemical leaveners suffer from premature release, and pre-reaction with other ingredients. In addition, the bakery industry faces problems such as sensitivity of ingredients to heat, light, moisture and pH as well as degradation of protein and other nutrients. These and other problems affect product quality and consistency, slow production and inhibit new product development. Additionally, the market for specially bakery products has also allowed food technologists to utilize more costly ingredients. One such application is encapsulated leavenings in frozen pail muffin dough. Normal handling involves overnight thawing, followed by varying hours of in-store use. Continuous gassing over time decreases quality consistency. Doughs with encapsulated leavening agents extend quality working from a few hours to a full day. Maxx Performance targeted microencapsulation system allows protection of ingredients from degradation and pre-reaction and deliver them for optimum performance at nominal cost with no process change. Maxx Performance microencapsulation improved leavening agents provide a bread dough with improved physical characteristics and allow the release of a leavening acid or base at the optimal time during baking.

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