B63 Baked Products

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Reduced-fat baked goods have benefited from the use of MC and HPMC in many ways. Just as fats contribute to increased volume and improved crumb structure, MC and HPMC compensate for fat removal by enhancing air entrainment, promoting uniform and fine cell size in the crumb structure (The Dow Chemical Company, 1993), and providing oven spring as these gums gel during baking (Bell, 1990). The thermal gelation property also provides a barrier to moisture loss during baking and cooling, which imparts a moist, shortening-like texture to the final product and can improve its shelf life as well.

MC products improve structure and moist texture in reduced-fat cakes. In a study of gum effects in reduced-fat microwavable cakes, gum levels and moisture contents in the cake batters were varied using a central composite experimental design (Bell and Steinke, 1991). MC and HPMC increased cake height in yellow cake by about 7% and in chocolate cake by 12%, despite the stresses of microwave baking and reductions in fat of 65% for the yellow and 70% for the chocolate cake. Figure 7B.5 shows the surface response plot for gum concentration and batter moisture vs. cake height in microwave chocolate cake. The yellow and chocolate cakes containing low molecular weight HPMCs produced a favorable moist mouthfeel compared with the control, which was too dry in sensory panel evaluations. The chocolate cake formula that resulted from this study is shown in Table 7B.6. The cake was prepared using a Hobart-type mixer with a wire whip attachment for blending of the dry ingredients, adding shortening to the dry ingredients to obtain a fine crumb structure, adding water and vanilla and blending for 4 min, weighing 400 g of the cake mix into a previously prepared microwaveable pan, and baking for 5 min on a high setting.

Figure 7B.5 Chocolate cake height as a function of HPMC concentration and moisture. (Reprinted with permission of The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, MI.)

Figure 7B.5 Chocolate cake height as a function of HPMC concentration and moisture. (Reprinted with permission of The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, MI.)

The surface activity of MC and HPMC also improves the whippability of reduced-egg cake batters. The stabilization of the foam is further reinforced by the thermal gelation of these molecules during the baking stage. In addition, MC and HPMC aid in the production of low-gluten bread. There, they contribute to obtaining the body and texture normally associated with standard, full-gluten bread. Further benefits include increased tolerance to overmixing, longer holding times, and improved product yield.

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