Food Chemistry: What should you know?

Food Chemistry: What should you know?

Bakery is an industry that has evolved significantly in recent years, thanks to the application of chemical principles in the preparation of its products. In this article, we will explore the most remarkable curiosities of food chemistry in bakery, and we will highlight the scientific aspects involved in its industrial production. In addition, we will see how chemical knowledge can influence the final quality of food, and what precautions you should take to avoid chemical issues.

Food Science: A Fundamental Pillar

Food science is crucial to ensuring the quality and safety of bakery products. Bakers need to understand how chemical reactions influence the texture, taste, and preservation of food. For example, oxidation of fatty acids in bakery products can affect their taste and texture.

By understanding these processes, bakers can take steps to control them and improve the final quality of their products. This science is also constantly evolving, since the commodity trading market is exploring new ingredients and more sustainable techniques.

Chemical Principles in the Bakery Industry

Food chemistry is critical to understanding how bakery products are prepared. Some common chemical principles include hydrolysis reaction, oxidation and reduction. These reactions are essential to creating the structure and flavor of bakery products, such as bread, cake, and brioche.

The science in bakery starts with the precise mixing of ingredients. Gluten, a protein found in flour, is essential. When kneading, gluten chains trap the gas produced by the yeast and gives the dough its airy texture.

Once in the oven, the chemistry becomes even more exciting. Heat triggers a series of fascinating chemical reactions. The yeast releases carbon dioxide, 

causing the dough to inflate. Sugars and proteins undergo the Maillard reaction, which produces the characteristic golden tones and toasted flavors.

Quality Control in Food Chemistry

In industrial production, chemistry is crucial to ensure quality. Manufacturers pay particular attention to factors such as gluten strength, moisture content, and enzyme activity. Advanced technologies such as spectroscopy and chromatography allow rigorous monitoring. Food technology is also taking a step forward, with approaches such as 3D food printing and the use of non-GMO food.

Precautions in Food Chemistry

While this chemistry is wonderful, there are potential risks. Cross-contamination, improper use of additives, and the presence of pathogens can be dangerous. It is essential to follow strict food safety protocols to avoid problems.

In conclusion, science applied in baking is a fascinating world of reactions, flavors, and textures. From humble bread to elaborate delicacies, science is the key to creating delicious, high-quality products. So next time you enjoy an irresistible bite, remember it is the magic of chemistry.

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Bibliographic references

Ministerio de Trabajo y Economía Social. (2020). Elaboración de productos alimenticios en panaderías y pastelerías artesanales: exposición a harina. STP Basequim, 030.

PCC Group. (2020, 9 de mayo). Industria de alimentos.