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Asked on 01.03.2023.

Tips for Incorporating Sodium Bicarbonate and Proteases into Biscuit Dough?

Hello, I would like to know what is the most appropriate way to incorporate sodium bicarbonate and ammonium or proteases into a biscuit dough ( in this moment these are solved in water and incorporate in the first faze of mixing).

Answered on 09.03.2023.

Hi Georgi

Ammonium Bicarbonate is often quite granular (large particle size) and is normally dissolved in water and added in the first stage of mixing to prevent blisters in the biscuit. Enzymes like Protease are added to the dough in extremely small dosages so would also need to be pre - dissolved in water and added to the dough during the 1st mixing phase to ensure good dispersion.

Sodium Bicarbonate is very soluble and usually available as a fine powder so it doesn’t need to be added into the water phase and can be added with the flour in the 2nd or 3rd stage of mixing. If acids are added to the dough some reaction with the Sodium Bicarbonate will occur during mixing which may result in loss of some CO2 prior to baking and as mentioned previously by Jaap this pre reaction can be averted by using coated material. One of the more common acids used  in biscuits and crackers is Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate ( SAPP ) which is available in a range of reaction rates with SAPP 10 having the slowest rate of reaction prior to baking so using this would reduce CO2 loss from both Ammonium and Sodium Bicarbonates prior to baking  

Andrew Hughes

Answered on 09.03.2023.

Hi Georgi!

Completely agree with what Jaap and Andrew told you regarding the moment of adding them.

But besides that you should always control the pH of the biscuits either by a pH meter or using a solution of phenol red, as the pH of the biscuits in general should not be higher than 7, except in the case of Digestive biscuits whereas is around 8. The pH in the finished biscuit is the result of the reactions mentioned, but if the pH is higher you should add more acid, be it the phosphates or tartaric or citric acid. If the pH is less than 6.5 you can add more Sodium Bicarbonate.

The addition of Ammonium Bicarbonate does not influence the pH and you should regulate the quantity looking at the thickness desired of the biscuits.

Answered on 03.03.2023.

Georgi, i can definitely advise the use of an encapsulated sodium bicarbonate. This will prevent any premature reactions during mixing and dough phase (providing manufacturing flexibility) and will activate in the baking phase. This way you will get the maximum out of your leaving system.

Answered on 30.03.2023.

Hi Georgi,

The best option is to dissolve it in water to both ammonium bicarbonate and enzymes. In the case of sodium, its prior dissolution is not necessary.

Another alternative for ammonium is to break the lumps formed by passing it through a mill previously. This breaks the lumps and can then be added without problems. But the most advisable is to dissolve it in water like enzymes.

Contemplate that the water that is added to dissolve the ingredients, must be discounted from the recipe to maintain the adequate amount of hydration.

Best regards!

Answered on 29.03.2023.

Hello Georgi

The main objectives are:

  1. To avoid reaction between acid (SAPP, MCP, etc.) and alkaline salts (Ammonium Bicarbonate, Sodium Bicarbonate) in water presence, since their reaction would generate CO2 that is supposed to be liberated mostly in oven.
  2. To avoid Ammonium Bicarbonate decomposition due to added hot water heat, that would generate ammonia and CO2 prior to baking, where they are supposed to act.
  3. Make sure your mixing process is capable of breaking up any undissolved salt lumps at the end of mixing time.

So, if it is a dough that cold water is added in (usually rotary moulded or wirecut biscuits): add ammonium bicarbonate dissolved in cold water and sodium bicarbonate in creaming/first stage. Only dissolve SB if there are a lot of lumps in it ( i.e. very humid environment.). For SAPP, MCP or other acid, add them in second stage, preferably not dissolved, after flour is added.

If it is a dough where hot water is added in (i.e. semi sweet biscuits or some crackers): one way is to add the alkaline leavenings in second/dough stage, dissolved in less water as possible, after flour is added. This is because hot water from creaming stage would trigger reaction of Ammonium bicarbonate. Add acid salts in creaming/first stage, to avoid reaction with alkaline ones.

For enzymes, always dissolve them in water and let it rest for 15 min, if possible. Attention should be taken about dissolution water temperature, since some enzymes have specific temperature action ranges. 

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