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Carrageenan improves quality, extends shelf-stability of frozen bakery dough.

Carrageenan has a strong functional synergism with starches and can be used in starch-based foods to retain moisture. Carrageenan swells when it is cooked to form a gel matrix, binding moisture and providing additional structure to the product. Carrageenan does not add to the viscosity of the dough during kneading. Its soft gel matrix blends with the dough and is invisible, even under microscopic examination. Carrageenan binds water to form a gel network that reinforces gluten structure, yielding an improved air cell matrix.

Scientists at FMC Biopolymer have examined the functional and quality-improving characteristics of various hydrocolloids in a frozen bakery dough system. Among the hydrocolloids evaluated were guar gum, xanthan gum, alginates, microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) and Viscarin XP 3480 carrageenan.

All of the test samples contained the same level of hydrocolloid. The performance of these materials was based on their effectiveness in improving or maintaining the quality of frozen dough during freezing, frozen storage and freeze-thaw cycles over an extended time period.

Control samples absent of any hydrocolloids were also tested for comparison. The fresh dough pieces were frozen at -30 F and stored at -10 F. The frozen dough was processed through four freeze-thaw cycles. After completion of each cycle researchers tested the samples and evaluated them on a monthly basis for a period of 16 weeks.

Bread was baked from each frozen dough piece and evaluated for quality attributes. The quality attributes that investigators evaluated were volume, color, shape, appearance and texture. Results show that the test sample with Viscarin XP 3480 produced a superior quality bread that had higher volume, a symmetrical shape, a golden brown color and good textural properties.

These results demonstrate the functional value of Viscarin XP 3480 in protecting the viability of yeast cells and maintaining gluten strength in frozen dough. It does so by controlling ice crystal size during freezing, subsequent frozen storage and repeated temperature abuse.

Further information. S. Othee, FMC BioPolymer, P.O. Box 8, Princeton, NJ 08543; phone: 609-951-3756; fax: 609-951-3680; URL:
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Publication:Emerging Food R&D Report
Date:Mar 1, 2003
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