Food Additives for Bread and Cakes

At 5:30 in the morning, I was going to gather for mountaineering. Because I had to bring my own lunch, only convenience stores were open, so I had to buy a tiger skin cake roll for today's lunch. While waiting for the bus, I was bored to look at the ingredients of the cake. It turned out that its ingredients were as follows: eggs, sugar, flour, wheat starch, soybean salad oil, water, citric acid, edible baking ghee, fatty acid glycerides, sodium acetate (anhydrous), Monosodium butenedate, glycine, sodium citrate, maltodextrin, rice wine, baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, monocalcium phosphate, corn starch, tapioca flour, potassium hydrogen tartrate, salt, calcium phosphate ,lactose.

Because I can also make cakes myself, compared with the general cake recipe, among the above 24 ingredients, this convenience store cake has added 9 kinds of chemical food additives that ordinary people have never heard of and don’t know their uses, and also added 6 kinds Ingredients that are not normally used in cake recipes. So it aroused my curiosity, to check the ingredients in these cake recipes, what role does it play in industrial mass-produced cakes?

Wheat starch is a by-product of making gluten, which is equivalent to flour without gluten (protein). Its price is cheaper than flour, and it can increase the Q degree of cakes.

Citric acid is mainly used to use its acidity to neutralize the alkalinity of the protein, making the protein easier to send and more stable, and the color of the cake produced is also whiter.

Edible baked ghee Ghee is a substitute for butter. The price is much cheaper than butter. It does not need to be refrigerated, and the taste of the cake is more crisp. But ghee is refined from hydrogenated oil, and it has no milky aroma and color, so the taste and color close to butter are all added by chemicals. Hydrogenated oil itself is trans fat, which is easy to accumulate in the body to form cholesterol that blocks blood vessels.

Fatty acid glycerides are commonly used emulsifiers, which can promote the mixing of oil and water, making the cake more delicate and fluffy, and the volume will also increase. But it is also a type of trans fat, which, like ghee, may cause cardiovascular disease.

Sodium acetate (anhydrous)
It is used as a flavoring agent and antibacterial agent to increase the acidity of food to prolong the shelf life. In addition, there is "sodium acetate dehydrate" with a similar name, which is a highly toxic preservative.

The function of monosodium fumarate is similar to that of sodium acetate. It is used as a flavoring agent and antibacterial agent to increase the acidity of food to prolong the shelf life.

Glycine is an amino acid similar to monosodium glutamate, has a seafood-like umami taste, can inhibit the reproduction of E. coli, and also has antioxidant effects, which can prolong the shelf life of baked goods.

Sodium citrate is a commonly used flavoring agent, which can increase the alkalinity of food, promote emulsification, prevent acidification of dairy products, increase the consistency of food, and be used as a preservative.

Maltodextrin is mostly extracted from cornstarch. It is a cheap carbohydrate. Adding it to cakes can not only replace high-cost flour, but also improve the anti-aging properties of cakes and maintain a soft texture for a long time. Because maltodextrin is a refined starch, it has a high glycemic index, and people with high blood sugar should try to avoid intake.

Sodium acid pyrophosphate is the main ingredient of commonly used aluminum-free baking powder (baking powder). It is also often used as a fluffy agent and a food moisture retention agent.

Calcium dihydrogen phosphate is also the main ingredient of aluminum-free baking powder (baking powder). It is also often used as a bulking agent, dough conditioner and stabilizer to improve the adhesion and water holding capacity of food.

Corn starch is also a relatively cheap starch. Adding it to the dough can reduce the gluten of the flour and make the cake softer.

Adding cassava flour to the dough can increase the Q-viscoelasticity of cakes such as Nyonya Kuih or Meatballs.

Potassium hydrogen tartrate is a by-product of the wine industry and the main raw material of cream of tartar. Its main purpose is to balance the alkalinity of protein, so that the foam volume of meringue is larger and whiter, and the color of the finished cake will be lighter.

Calcium phosphate is the main component of instant baking powder, and it reacts with baking soda to release carbon dioxide, which increases the fluffiness and volume of the cake.

The main purpose of lactose is to reduce the sweetness of cakes, maintain flavor, replace milk powder with higher cost, or increase the brown color of food.

Do you think it’s a good deal to trade so many additional food additives and food ingredients for low cost, convenience, freshness and taste? For information about food additives, you can refer to the link of Food Additives Handbook of Food and Drug Administration.

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