Scientists evaluate the effects of different freezing rates on dough and bread quality

A Mexican study tested different combinations of freezing rates and concentration of trehalose sugar on the quality of dough and bread. They found that the right mix resulted in bread with similar quality to freshly-baked bread.

The study was supported by the Universidad de Sonora. Its results were published in the journal Food Science and Technology.

  • Different concentrations of trehalose were added to bread dough. The dough was put through pre-fermentation, one of two different freezing rates, and stored for zero, 14, 28, or 42 days. Samples were taken every two weeks for thawing, analysis, and conversion into bread.
  • Adding high concentrations of trehalose to the dough allowed it to retain excellent viscoelastic and fermentation-related properties. Without the sugar, the quality of the dough went down upon freezing.
  • Meanwhile, a slow freezing rate did less damage to yeast and the gluten network in the dough. Furthermore, it increased volume, reduced firmness, and improved all other properties.
  • Storing dough at freezing temperatures over long periods of time reduced the quality of both the dough itself and the bread produced from it. However, this degradation could be amended by adding trehalose before storage.
  • The bread with the best quality was determined to come from dough with a slow freezing rate, 800 parts per million concentration of trehalose, and 42 days of storage at -4 degrees Fahrenheit (-20 degrees Celsius).

The researchers remarked that dough treated with yeast and trehalose should be frozen slowly to ensure the high quality of bread produced using the thawed material.

For those interested in the full study, visit this page.

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Journal Reference:

Gerardo-Rodríguez JE, Ramírez-Wong B, Ledesma-Osuna AI, Medina-Rodríguez CL, Ortega-Ramírez R, Silvas-García MI. MANAGEMENT OF FREEZING RATE AND TREHALOSE CONCENTRATION TO IMPROVE FROZEN DOUGH PROPERTIES AND BREAD QUALITY. Food Science and Technology. 6 May 2016;37(1):59–64. DOI: 10.1590/1678-457x.00482.

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