Leavening

Shelf life of chemically leavened doughs is restricted by reaction prior to proofing or baking. Dry, packaged mixes lose leavening activity particularly in high-moisture systems. The same is true of chemically leavened frozen doughs. Refrigerated and microwaveable frozen doughs offer unique leavening problems in that activity needs to be controlled, not simply prevented. Refrigerated doughs require some leavening initially when the dough is formed, but ideally no more reaction through the packaging stage. Once in the closed containers and held under suitable proofing conditions, rapid leavening is desirable to purge the seal and provide maximum can pressure. Microwaveable frozen products require initial protection from reaction, with rapid, intense leavening during the very brief time that a rise may occur within the microwaving process.

Encapsulated sodium bicarbonate with precise release characteristics in combination with selected leavening acids offers a commercial means of providing protection, and optimizing activity in a wide variety of baking systems. Encapsulation has also been applied to leavening acids, particularly glucono-cfeZia-lactone for similar applications.

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