Rice-based enzyme will bring gluten-free bread to the next level, says DSM

By Niamh Michail

- Last updated on GMT

Rice-based enzyme will bring gluten-free bread to the next level, says DSM

Related tags Wheat

DSM has unveiled a rice-based baker's enzyme which boosts the softness and moistness of gluten-free bread, allowing it to compete with wheat-based breads in texture, it says.

Showcasing the ingredient at IFT in Las Vegas after two years in the making, DSM’s Bakezyme is available in five different enzyme classes depending on manufacturers’ needs – amylase, protease, xylanase, glucose oxidase and amyloglucosidase.

Amylase, an anti-staling enzyme, for example, will retain the softness for at least nine days.

Bakezyme tackles the two biggest complaints associated with gluten-free bread, global business manager for baking at DSM Fokke Van den Berg said – hardness and dryness, keeping the bread fresher and softer for longer. There is also a marked improvement in the softness from day one, he said, with a fluffier texture.

“Gluten-free is a challenging application because it’s gluten that brings the softness and binds the water. Technically, it makes a lot of sense that gluten-free bread is not as soft and moist as regular bread," ​Van den Berg said.

 “But there is literally direct competition from regular bread so gluten-free bread needs to watch out. It needs to be as good.”

Fokke Van den Berg

DSM tested Bakezyme on two types of dough – oat and a mixture of potato and rice – with each requiring a slightly different formulation for the same results.

The enzyme has a slight premium due to the higher costs incurred by DSM to ensure it is gluten-free but overall the price is “very similar​” to other enzyme ingredients, particularly because only a tiny amount is needed in a recipe: one kilo of Bakezyme can be used to produce 10,000 kilos of bread.

Unlike most baker’s enzymes that are derived from wheat, Bakezyme is made of fermentation-derived microorganisms added to rice flour, making it suitable for coeliacs and those with a gluten intolerance. As the enzymes are deactivated during the cooking process, the ingredient is considered to be a processing aid and so is not required to be listed on-pack.

A new innovation opportunity

Results from a survey commissioned by DSM, involving over 1000 individuals from the US and the UK in April this year,­ showed that over a quarter of British respondents (28%) and over one third of Americans (34%) eat gluten-free bread at least a few times a week, as well as standard wheat bread.

This demonstrates that gluten-free bread competes with regular bread on market shelves, which signifies on opportunity for the category to gain market share from ordinary bread​,” it said.

Growth figures for the gluten-free category suggest that the future is bright for this segment. Euromonitor predicts the gluten-free retail market will be worth $4.7 billion (€4.1bn) globally by 2020 compared to $1.7bn (€1.5bn) in 2011, while over the past three years, gluten-free bread has seen a net increase of 64% in the UK and 72% in the US.

“The insights from the consumer survey were interesting because with gluten-free we always thought it was a case of ‘either or’ – either completely gluten-free or not,” ​Van den Berg told us. “But we also asked would you be interested in a gluten-reduced bread and the majority of consumers said yes, they would consider it. Potentially that’s a middle ground innovation opportunity in the gluten-free category – ‘bread lite’ – a bit like reduced sugar or fat.”

The company expects most demand to come from the US and UK as well as other European countries, but the gluten-free trend is also spreading to Brazil, Turkey and Morocco, said Van den Berg.

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