Enzymes In flour: And its Baking Application

  1. Introduction

Enzymes are proteins that act as biological catalysts. Catalysts are generally used to     accelerate the chemical reaction. An enzyme is a substance that acts as a catalyst in the living organism to regulate the rate of chemical reactions. Almost all proteins are enzymes, but all enzymes are not proteins. It helps to boost metabolism.

Enzymes are a kind of catalyst that can work within mild conditions of temperature, and pH and carry out chemical reactions at a high rate. Some enzymes are active without co- enzymes, but some are not. So, the types of enzymes that are inactive in the absence of its co-enzyme is called apoenzyme and enzymes that produce the active form of enzyme, in the presence of co- enzyme is called holoenzyme.


Apoenzymes + Co-enzymes           ⇒           Holoenzymes


  1. Types of Enzymes in Flour

Enzymes are usually added to modify dough rheology, gas retention, and crumb softness in bread manufacture. Enzymes used in bakery products to facilitate chemical reactions without undergoing any chance in their molecular structure.

Following are the types of enzymes present in flour:

                      2.1 Diastase/ Amylase

Diastase breaks and converts it into malt sugar. Diastase or Amylase is destroyed at 77    degrees centigrade. The amount of diastase in grain varies from year to year, depending on harvest conditions.

                     2.2 Protease

Protease is found in flour but also in malt and yeast. Proteins that cannot be dissolved in water can be converted by protease into another form. Due to presence of gluten, the dough becomes more elastic and softer and produces amino acids. Protease starts to work immediately after the dough is mixed.  It is mostly used to produce pan bread, cracker, wafer, and biscuits.

                      2.3 Lipoxygenases

Lipoxygenases is present in soy- flour, also has an oxidative effect on the gluten.

                      2.4 Hemicellulose, Pentosanes and Xylanases

Wheat flour contains about 2-3% pentosans that can bind up to 10 times of their weight of water. These pentosans belongs to the category of hemicelluloses.

  1. Application of Enzyme in Baking

Enzymes as technological aids are usually added to flour, during the mixing step of the bread-making process. The enzymes most frequently used in bread-making are the α-amylases from different origin.

Amylases and other starch-converting enzymes. The industrial processing of starch is usually started by α-amylases. Following are the enzymes added to the flour to enhance their processing and some other purposes.


There are various types of enzymes used in baking industries. Some of the enzymes are already present in different flours but for baking some enzymes are generally added for different purposes.

Following are the enzymes added to the flour during baking


 3.1 Maltase

Maltase is used to standardize the alpha amylase activity to most bread flour. Malted wheat or barley flour is added at the bakery.


3.2 Lipoxygenase

Lipoxygenases are present in soy flour that oxidizes the fat in flour to form peroxidases. Peroxidases bleach the flour pigments which result in crumb color.

3.3 Fungal Amylase

It is used to standardize the alpha amylase activity of bread flour. Fungal amylase is commonly used in dough conditioning.

3.4 Protease

Protease breaks down the gluten protein in wheat flour. For bread making this can improve gas retention, but with a tradeoff for less tolerance. 

3.5 Transglutaminase

Transglutaminase creates links between gluten molecules and strengthens the dough.

  1. Primary enzymes used for baking

 4.1 Enhance dough retention capacity and softness of the dough

Enzymes can be added to reduce mixing time, to decrease dough consistency, to assure dough uniformity, to regulate gluten strength in bread, to control bread texture and to improve flavor.

4.2 Modifiers of dough handling properties

Extra enzymes added to the dough improve control of the baking process, allowing the use of different baking processes, reducing process time. 

4.3 Dough strengthener

The main function of dough strengthener is it works like an emulsifier by bonding with proteins and help to improve the gluten strength. They are added to the dough to improve texture, symmetry, volume, etc. of the bakery product. 

4.4 Crumb softeners (anti-staling agents)

Enzymes are also used to delay the staling process, to reduce waste and ease pressure within the supply chain.

5. References



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