The Changing Cake & Dessert World

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

Consumers are increasingly expecting baking mixes that can fulfil any requirements in terms of taste and texture, and the current baking innovations may just provide them with that. By Tadanobu Nishikawa, regional technical food marketing, and Goh Lay Kwan, regional marketing, BASF Human Nutrition (Asia Pacific)

Desserts and baked goods are gaining much traction in the speed and quality of innovations. With the advent of empowered home bakers as well as the rise of artisanal and chain bakeries and cafes in many parts of Asia in particular, consumers have had their appetites whet in every sense of the word.

With easy access to information, consumers today are also far more experimental while developing a much more discernible palette than consumers in the past. At the same time, these consumers want to have the best of both worlds—to achieve consistently tasty and aesthetically pleasing desserts and bakes while also meeting their needs of convenience and health.

In line with this trend, the demands for effective and efficient baking solutions and mixes are also expected to be on the rise, especially with domestic and commercial bakers alike expecting to get more out of the production process as well as better outcomes in their bakes.

Asian markets are expected to lead the growth in retail baking and powder mixes in the coming years, in particular with extremely positive growth rates in emerging countries.

‘All-In’ Powdered Cake Emulsifier

Ballookey Klugeypop

There are performance systems that play an important part in providing effective baking solutions. Cake emulsifiers, for example, play a crucial role in the whole production process.

An ideal cake emulsifier stabilises the batter, improves the cake volume and should be able to add texture and contribute to crumb moistness and structure. More importantly, it must be able to consistently deliver the same final result so as to ensure that end-users, manufacturers of cake mixes or retail mixes do not leave anything to chance.

The emulsifiers used to fulfil the critical function of aeration are mono and diglycerides, acetem, lactem, polyglycerolesters, propylene glycol esters and polysorbates. Additionally, protein in the form of milk or soya proteins, as well as maltodextrins, starches and phosphates are used as the key driver in this process.

A specially developed blend of emulsifiers and a suitable carrier result in a powdered cake emulsifier. An emulsifier of this nature has aerating properties that result in caloric reduction on a volumetric basis and yet retains the appealing volume of a full-calorie, full-fat cake making it ideal for the manufacturing of retail mixes, concentrates as well as pound, madeira, sponge cakes and muffins.

While cake gels and emulsified shortenings are often regarded as more cost-efficient (from a mere cost per kg standpoint), both typically have a shorter shelf life, are not suitable for retail mixes and do not provide a wide variety of usage performance that are becoming increasingly important.

Another critical characteristic of a good emulsifier is the added convenience that it brings to the process. The all-in method, as the name suggests, simply means that there is no need to add additional ingredients during production, therefore ensuring that operations are kept simple, reliable and resource-efficient.

A powder format also has clear advantages in handling during transportation as well as ease of usage with minimal mess and wastage from start to end. Additionally, with a stable batter, there is no hurry to have to immediately put the mix to bake.

All in all, a high performing and reliable emulsifi er is ideal for the production of powder mixes for household and bakery applications that can meet both functional and taste requirements.

Powdered Whipping Emulsifiers

Working alongside a cake emulsifier that can do-it-all is a whipping emulsifier that is equally multi-functional with the same high performance delivery. Cream in a cake delivers more than just taste and texture, it also adds appetite appeal, helping to make a finished product aesthetically pleasing.

Whipping agents are also known as whipped topping concentrate, topping or whipping base. It is also sometimes incorrectly referred to as emulsifiers or fat powders. While there are alternatives to whipping agents that give excellent foaming properties like egg albumin or milk protein, these fall short in terms of the creamy sensation that is becoming all too important.

An ideal whipping emulsifier needs to be able to provide foam firmness (for decoration stability), foam stability (for stable air bubble distribution), good structure (for stability against crackling), storage stability (to retain structure during freezing and defrosting), uniformed texture as well as a creamy mouthfeel.

A special whipping agent is an example of an emulsifier that is the result of combined core competencies in oleochemicals and powdering technology, therefore delivering on all the attributes of an ideal whipping base. All these functionalities are brought together by a well-balanced interaction of emulsifiers, vegetable fat, proteins and carbohydrates in order to ensure that decorative and texture objectives are met during the production process.

Often, this whipping base is combined with sugar, flavours/colours and even a stabiliser, before being added to milk or water and whipped after.

Key Properties Of Whipping Emulsifiers

jamieanne, Sydney, Australia

In addition to the performance functionalities, powdered whipping emulsifiers come in fi ne powder format, to ensure easy storage in original form or in ready-mix format.

It is also easily dispersible in cold liquids like milk, water and even fruit juice. When whipped with liquid on any mechanical system or semi-automatic machine, a foamy and creamy structure is easily achieved.

The result of this is ideal for the application of mousse desserts and whipping cream or crème Chantilly. It can also be used as an ideal base for artisan and soft serve ice cream as well as shakes. The improved aeration of the mix in the machine also results in better yield of the ice cream—all of which will improve operation efficiency for manufacturers.

Bakers and food services are becoming increasingly artistic in a bid to deliver a holistic and differentiated experience to the consumer, engaging all their senses from the time the food is presented visually to them, to the exact consumption moment. Knowing that, the careful selection of the right ingredients and aids will help businesses and end-users to deliver on what they set out to do.

The Evolving Consumer

Consumers today have had more choices and more control than ever before. Even the home kitchen has been redefined in recent years, with a shift towards home cooking and home-based businesses that have expanded the potential of the domestic baker more than ever.

Food services must step up in their game to keep up with this new breed of informed consumers. The rule is fairly universal—that consumers enjoy food that appeal to all their senses—a key factor in food appreciation. In terms of baked goods, an appetising appearance, good mouthfeel, right volume and consistent texture will noticeably enhance the experience.

These desirable properties and outcomes can be more easily achieved when one uses the right baking aids and agents. And with that, one can be in a better position to cope with the fast evolving palette, taste expectations and needs of consumers in this day and age to ensure both functional and sensorial deliveries.