Optimizing Dough Quality with Low Salt Recipes

Optimizing Dough Quality with Low Salt Recipes

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Current consumer trends and even some government regulations are pushing food producers to reduce the salt content of their products. Salt is essential for our diet (two grams is the recommended daily allowance for an adult). Yet, when consumed in excess it is harmful, as is the case in many Western diets.  

The challenge is to reduce the salt content in the baking industry while maintaining product quality and the flavor that consumers have come to expect. The salt has food preservation and seasoning qualities, but it also plays a key role in the way dough behaves during the baking process.

Producing consistent and high-quality baked goods are as much about flavor and sensory concerns as it is about chemistry, and decreasing salt has a direct influence on bread and dough production.

The Effects of Salt Reduction on Dough Properties During the Bread Making Process

Throughout the production process, reduced-sodium salt dough behaves differently with the general effects on the dough and final product below:

Mixing

  • During kneading dough is less stable
  • Lower hydration (lower yield)
  • Weakened gluten
  • Lower dough development time

Shaping

  • Lower dough strength
  • Lower dough elasticity

Fermentation

  • Early gas loss, dough instability
  • More porous dough
  • Faster proofing

Baking

  • Bread crumb less developed
  • Reduced bread volume

Shelf Life

  • Reduced Shelf Life

Creating High Quality, Low Sodium Dough, and Bread Products

Bread makers utilize a number of processes and formula modifications to make high-quality bread from reduced-sodium recipes. In order to validate a recipe, the traditional technique consists of carrying out production tests that are expensive, long, and often produce subjective, qualitative results.   

Chopin Technologies has proposed a number of solutions that make it viable to predict dough behavior and final product quality quickly without scaling to production. So, it is possible to develop new formulas at a lower cost and measure the effects of changing the salt content in a recipe.  

Alveolab – Evaluation of Viscoelastic Properties

The Alveolab assesses the consistency of dough during mixing. This device measures the four key characteristics of dough: extensibility (L), tenacity (P), baking strength (W), and elasticity (i.e.), which represent the behavior of the dough in the shaping and mixing production stages.

Mixolab 2 – Evaluation of Mixing and Baking Behaviors

The Mixolab 2 assesses the six quality measures of dough:

  • Maximum viscosity
  • Absorption of water
  • Amylase activity
  • Effects of mixing
  • Gluten strength
  • Retrogradation  

These properties influence the mixing behavior of the flour in addition to the baking properties and shelf life of the final product.

Rheo F4 – Predicting Behavior During the Fermentation Process

By measuring the production and retention of carbon dioxide, the Rheo F4 characterizes the development of the dough. These properties detail the dough during the fermentation stage and influence parameters such as loaf volume and texture.

Rapid Evaluation of Low Salt Recipes

When combined, these devices create a complete picture of the dough behavior and predict final product quality accurately. Bakers can utilize these analyzers to develop new low sodium recipes and make sure that the products adhere to the stability, production, and consumer quality specifications they need. 

Various additives are often added in order to offset the influences of reduced sodium content and these can be quickly judged consistently and objectively.

Comprehensive Quality Control for all Baked Goods

Once formulations and recipes are determined, the complement of Chopin Technology analyzers can be utilized to ensure consistent product quality across lots of incoming flour and other raw ingredients which have inherent natural variations.  

Furthermore, these instruments can be utilized to assess other dough and baked products to establish the effects of additives, starch damage, gluten addition and gluten-free formulas, and sucrose addition.

Experts in the Grain, Milling and Baking Industries

Chopin Technologies has more than 100 years of developing innovative analytical instruments for the flour and cereal industries.  A complete line of instruments and devices are available to characterize cereals and associated products from the field to the final product.  

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by CHOPIN Technologies.

For more information on this source, please visit CHOPIN Technologies.

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