Chemical Leaveners in Bakery Applications

Common baked goods that use chemical leaveners include cakes, cookies, donuts, tortillas, frozen dough, pizza and pancakes, as well as some yeast-leavened products. It is helpful when formulators know certain facts about chemical leaveners in order to maximize their use.

Baking powder is composed of carbon dioxide sources, leavening acid and filler. Carbon dioxide sources are sodium bicarbonate, potassium bicarbonate or ammonium bicarbonate. The leavening acids determine the rates of reaction. Neutralizing Value (NV) is the amount of available acidity in the acid. Leavening acids affect volume, crumb texture, and final structure and color appearance. Acids used are sodium acid pyrophosphate (SAPP), sodium aluminum phosphate (SALP), sodium aluminum sulfate (SAS) and calcium phosphates. Fillers are used to separate active ingredients and for bulk density. Key attributes of fillers are particle size and moisture of less than 7%. Flour and calcium carbonate are examples.

One important parameter to consider is the ratio of acid salt to sodium bicarbonate, or NV. NV is calculated by sodium bicarbonate (g)/leavening acid (g) x 100. The rate of the following reaction is also important. Acid salt + sodium bicarbonate > neutral salt + H2O+CO2.  

SAPP reaction rates range from slow to medium to fast. This is the most common leavening acid used in baking powder. Fast-reacting acids are used in cake donuts and some cake mixes. SALP has a high neutralizing value of 100, provides neutral taste and is used in cakes, pancakes, muffins, self-rising flours, and frozen and refrigerated doughs.

SAS has a high neutralizing value of 104, provides a delayed reaction with high volumes in finished products and improved shelflife stability. It can be used in baking powders, cakes, muffins, self-rising flour, tortillas, and frozen and refrigerated doughs.

Mono calcium phosphate (MCP) has a neutralizing value of 80, is fast-acting and utilized in fast-acting and double-acting leavening systems. Applications include baking powders for crackers, cookies and biscuits. It also acts as a flour improver and dough conditioner.

Dicalcium phosphate (DCP) has a neutralizing value of 35 and reacts in a very late stage of baking, because it is heat-activated. DCP prevents dipped centers of fallen layer cakes and also supports yeast. It is used in combination with faster-reacting leavening acids.

 “Chemical Leaveners in Bakery Applications,” E.B. Russell, technical manager, CF Budenheim,,
 --Summary by Elizabeth Mannie, Contributing Editor

Sodium Acid Sulfate

Sodium acid sulfate is a stronger acid than many typical acids; therefore, less is required to lower pH. For example, to achieve a standard pH of 3.2 in a beverage, the addition of sodium acid sulfate would be 0.06%, while citric acid would require 0.12% to achieve the same pH.

Sodium acid sulfate is GRAS in the U.S.; allowed in Canada, Mexico and the E.U.; and approved as a pH control agent, leavening agent or a processing aid. According to the FDA, the labeling requirements are either “bisulfate of soda,” “sodium acid sulfate” or “sodium bisulfate.”

Current uses for sodium acid sulfate are in dressings, sauces, marinades, fillings, beverages, cheeses and syrups. In dressings and sauces, it functions to lower pH and preserve and extend shelflife. Flavor is also improved by lowering pH--without overpowering the true flavors. The level of sodium can be reduced, as sodium acid sulfate enhances the flavor of salt. It also increases perceived sweetness, so up to 15% sweetener reductions can be achieved. The low usage rate provides cost savings, along with sweetener and sodium reductions.

In confectionery fillings, toppings and syrups, the low sour intensity works well in chocolate, vanilla, banana, coconut, caramel and toffee. Sodium acid sulfate brings out a more ripe fruit flavor with non-citrus fruit flavors like peach, pear and strawberry.

Products with a pH of greater than 4.6 require retort/aseptic processing. The high temperatures required for retort can change the texture, taste and color of the food. Critical factors for retort processing are time, temperature and pH.

Decreasing the pH levels allows for less processing time and lower temperatures to be used. Sodium acid sulfate offers this ability without compromising microbial stability or flavor. It is also feasible to convert a retort/aseptic process to a hot fill process by adding sodium acid sulfate, as long as the pH is reduced below 4.6.

Process improvements achieved with sodium acid sulfate include energy savings, increased production (no bottleneck at retort), and lower equipment and packaging costs. Quality improvements include improved texture, color and flavor, and greater nutrient retention.

A cost comparison for cheese sauce made aseptically vs. a hot fill version shows a 36% cost savings with equipment and operations. Sweet potatoes saved a whopping 62%, when using hot fill acidified with sodium acid sulfate.

“Sodium Acid Sulfate,” Carl Knueven, corporate manager, product development, Jones Hamilton Co.,,
--Summary by Elizabeth Mannie, Contributing Editor

Using Nutritive Sweeteners in New Products

Trends in nutritive sweetener use have indicated that they can cause weight gain, bringing about increased demand for non-nutritive sweeteners. However, many epidemiological studies have shown that the relationship between sugar intake and obesity is not always a direct correlation. The glycemic index (GI) differentiates foods by ranking carbohydrates according to their effect on blood glucose levels. Eating high-GI foods can be detrimental for those who are overweight and sedentary. Eating mainly low-GI foods allows glucose to enter the bloodstream slowly and keep energy levels balanced.

Nutritive sweetener use has been increasing in the U.S., rising from 80lbs/year in 1966 to over 100lbs/year in 2002. Organic food and beverage sales reached $16.9 billion in 2006, with a growth rate of 22% over the prior year. There is a continued push for wholesome, natural and organically derived sweeteners, with no signs of abating. A few natural and organic sweeteners include honey, cherry juice concentrate and raisin juice concentrate.

Honey functions as a humectant and shelflife extension agent. It provides a characteristic flavor, contributes to browning and also contains antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It also has both antimicrobial (e.g., antibiotic ointments) and prebiotic properties (e.g., its function in dairy products). Additionally, honey has been found to increase recuperation rates after workouts. Raw honey has a moderate GI (58), which is lower than most other sweeteners.

Cherry juice concentrate is produced by concentrating tart cherries to 68° Brix. It can be reconstituted to a single-strength juice or used without reconstituting for flavoring or coloring. Cherry juice concentrate also functions as a sweetener, humectant and nutritional ingredient. Cherry juice concentrate contains anthocyanins that are said to relieve pain better than aspirin and ibuprofen. In addition, there are three anthocyanins in tart cherries that have the potential to inhibit the growth of colon cancer tumors.

Raisin juice concentrate is a pure extract of raisins containing a minimum of 70% natural fruit soluble solids and can be used for a variety of functions including sweetening, color, flavor enhancement, shelflife extension, retarding mold growth and as a humectant. The nutritional functions of raisin juice concentrate include its naturally occurring inulin, a carbohydrate that reduces the risk of colon cancer. Raisin juice concentrate also contains antioxidants that may slow the effects of aging and phenolic compounds that could play a role in preventing heart disease. It is also beneficial for the maintenance of desirable blood sugar levels.

 “The Use of Nutritive Sweeteners in Product Development,” David Ropa, vice president, marketing, TJP Market Development,,
--Summary by Elizabeth Mannie, Contributing Editor

Enzymes to Tenderize Meat in Marinades

Among several types of enzymes that are useful in marinades are papain, bromelain, ficin,Aspergillus oryzaeprotease andBacillus subtilisprotease. Papain is derived from the latex of unripe papaya. It has the longest history of use and the highest temperature of inactivation. Bromelain is derived from pineapple, has a slightly lower temperature of inactivation compared to papain, no odor, no added sulfites and is more effective on connective tissue. Ficin is derived from latex of the fig tree and has the lowest temperature of inactivation of the botanical proteases, but it has limited production and the highest cost.

Aspergillus oryzaeprotease is derived from a fungal source; its limited market use may be due to potential amylase side activity. It has a low temperature of inactivation and is a very mild tenderizer.Bacillus subtilisprotease has only recently gained USDA approval. It is a mild tenderizer with low temperature of inactivation and is a possible alternate to ficin.

The typical dose with botanical proteases is from 500-3,000mcu (milk clot units) per pound of meat. Calculating the uptake of marinade per pound of meat needs to be considered when formulating. Other factors that influence final tenderizing effect include hold temperature before cooking, maximum cook temperature and storage after cooking (whether it is immediately consumed or held further). This is an important consideration, if the meat is cooked to rare and has had the marinade injected throughout.

Small meat pieces that are pressed for uniform thickness can be vacuum tumbled, cooked, packaged, flash-frozen and consumed soon after final prep. In this case, the choice for tenderizer is open, since the meat is cooked and frozen. The meat properties and connective tissue help determine whether to directly add tenderizer or add it as part of a multi-component system. For example, if a processor has large muscle pieces, the marinade can be injected and tumbled. If the meat is to have a 15% marinade take-up, cooked to 160°F in a bag and held under refrigerated conditions, then the tenderizer must be inactivated. This is because the product is held at refrigerated conditions for an extended time period. The relatively low final cook temperature eliminates papain and bromelain as a choice. Ficin could be an option, but its inactivation is questionable, which makes the bacterial protease a better candidate in this case. When calculating the type and amount of enzyme needed in a marinade formula, suppliers can be of assistance.
“Use of Enzymes in Marinades,” Peter Moodie, director of sales and marketing, Enzyme Development Corporation,
--Summary by Elizabeth Mannie, Contributing Editor

Calcium Phosphate in Beverages

Calcium is an essential mineral. In the human body, it helps regulate the heart beat, clots blood, enhances thyroid function, helps neural transmissions and, as the old commercial used to say, builds strong bones and teeth. The current FDA labeling requirement for calcium consumption is 100mg per day for ages 4-adult; this appears on all food labels. The most recently published Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for calcium provided by the Institute of Medicine varies with age.  The data suggests that adults aged 19-50 possibly will consume 1,000mg per day, whereas those over 51 should increase intake to 1,200mg.

One of the reasons people should consume more calcium as they age is to avoid osteoporosis. This is a disease associated with aging, in which bones lose bone density, making them more fragile and more susceptible to breakage. In the U.S., over 10 million people over 50 have this disease, and over 1.5 million fractures are attributed to it yearly. One of the means for reducing the incidence of osteoporosis is proper diet, which includes calcium and phosphorous. Phosphorous makes up a significant percentage of bone, yet its requirements in the diet have been ignored. 

Phosphorous is not only important for bone health, but also is involved in RNA and DNA synthesis, energy transport within the body, cell membrane health, and it acts as a buffer in blood serum. In fact, phosphorous is involved with more biological processes than any mineral in the body. Like calcium, the RDIs for phosphorous vary with age. Requirements for pregnant and lactating women also have been established. Work conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have indicated that phosphorous deficiencies may be more common than imagined, especially among women.

People should include phosphorous with calcium in their diets. The amount of these two nutrients should be balanced, since calcium intake alone, at high levels, has been shown to inhibit phosphorous absorption. This work was done by Heaney, et al., in 2002, and was published in theAmerican College of Nutrition. Work has also shown that calcium bioavailability of calcium phosphate is similar to that found in milk. Serum phosphorous will be higher if calcium phosphate is used, when compared to calcium carbonate.

There are a number of common sources for calcium. These include lactate, ascorbate, gluconate, citrate, carbonate, phosphate and their combinations. The amount of calcium found in each of these materials may be seen in the chart “Typical Sources of Calcium.”

There is a new soluble calcium phosphate product called MCP that has been designed for use in the beverage industry. The product has excellent solubility, clarity and no effect on color. It may be used in a variety of juices, such as apple and grape, and carbonated beverages (both colored and clear). The benefits of the product include complete solubility, clarity, no effect on color, halal and kosher certification, and it is a natural product. It makes sense to use soluble MCP to supplement beverages with the right balance of calcium and phosphorous.

 “Fortify Beverages ‘Clearly Better’ with Calcium Phosphate,” Amr Shaheed, senior scientist II, Innophos Inc.,,
--Summarized by Richard F. Stier, Contributing Editor