20 Jun 2019
Ever wonder why bakers use improvers? What does an improver actually do? Can an improver really improve my baked goods? For answers to these questions and more, read our conversation with Sergio Arruda, Puratos Canada Technical Advisor.
We recently sat down with our Technical Advisor, Sergio Arruda, to get his take on dough improvers and can hopefully answer your questions. With over 25 years’ experience in the business, from bakery owner to Puratos Canada’s very own in-house baker extraordinaire, Sergio shares his passion for baking with those around him. Sergio explains that improvers play an important role in developing the volume, texture and crust of the finished products, whether it be soft or crusty. He further explains that improvers allow bakers to meet customer expectations in providing consistent finished products.
The entire baking process can be positively impacted by using an improver, Sergio says. From mixing to baking, a good improver is your back-up through every stage of the baking process. Other environment factors become less influential when you work with an improver – the increase in humidity, poor flour quality, or when you’re just having a rough day, can all be alleviated when using an all-purpose improver.
The mixing process is the foundation of creating a great bakery product. An improver supports the dough development stage through hydration, oxidation and gluten development - the backbone of a well-developed dough. He explains that it can provide better dough manageability and ease during processing, which can directly impact the look of the finished product.
Improvers can offer a baker flexibility in processing straight doughs immediately, as well as fermenting doughs for a longer period of time. One of the most important benefits of using an improver is that the dough maintains its tolerance and stability during the entire process – from mixing, shaping, proofing and baking. This improved tolerance results in greater volume, better crumb texture and superior crust characteristics.
When it comes to proofing, different factors can influence the overall finished product. On industrial lines, products are often impacted by transfer points or when moving racks around the bakery. With an improver the dough will maintain its integrity by providing tolerance and stability, reducing the risk of the dough deflating or collapsing before baking.
While in an artisan bakery, dough is often manually handled and the strength of the dough is impacted by the handling and processing, such as the scoring of the product. With an improver, you can get away with much more…the dough can handle more abuse, significantly increasing the overall quality and look of the finished product.
Baking - this is where an improver is truly put to the test. When the dough is put into the oven to bake, improvers continue to work and optimize the volume of the finished product (also known as “oven jump”), providing consistent results. For example, an improver can provide a cohesive crumb structure and consistent crust. Where, scoring has been applied, a great shred – a baker’s signature, is even more evident.
Sergio has learned all the above the hard way; being confronted with challenging baking environments has taught him that using a dough improver helped him save time and allowed him for consistent baking results time after time. One of his go-to’s is S500, our all-purpose improver he refers to as “the jack-of-all-trades”, offering you piece of mind across all applications.
S500 was one of the flagships of the Puratos range – since its launch in 1975, S500 has been a worldwide reference point for bread improvers. Artisan as well as more industrialized bakers see S500 as a product that gives absolute security during all stages of the bread-making process, and one that helps them achieve consistent baked goods. We take pride in our commitment to innovation, which is why we also have a cleaner label version of S500. Leveraging the latest enzyme technologies, S500 CL meets your needs in the bakery and keeps you ahead of the growing trend for ingredient transparency.
If you are looking for something that will offer you both piece of mind and a consistently great product, S500 range will provide you with that and more.
Sergio is a dedicated passionate professional Master Baker with over 25 years experience in artisan and industrial commercial bakery operations as well as product development. His native roots stem back to Portugal where he was born into a family of bakers. He fell in love with baking at a very young age and after attending university, he decided to pursue his passion for baking and opened up his own bakery in Toronto at the age of 24. He joined Puratos Canada in 2012 as a Technical Advisor - Bakery. Sergio shares his expertise and passion with customers through innovation, troubleshooting and finished product development.
Written by Danielle Aucoin, Product Manager - Bakery, in collaboration with Sergio Arruda, Technical Advisor - Bakery.