- Phosphates play an important role in chemical leavening systems by
reacting with baking soda to spur leavening in a variety of products,
including cookies, tortillas and pizza. This reaction produces CO2 and
causes bakery foods to rise. Common phosphates used in chemical
leavening include sodium-based phosphates such as sodium aluminum
phosphate (SALP) and sodium acid pyrophosphates (SAPP), and
Phosphates provide ideal acid reactions in chemical leavening systems
because phosphates affect solubility and the rate of reaction.
Sodium-based phosphates commonly are used for their versatility and
abilities to offer time-delayed leavening, which allows bakers to delay
the rate of reaction.
SAPPs are the most common phosphates used in chemical leaveners. There
are many different grades of SAPPs, and the grades are classified by the
percent of CO2 that is released at the end of an eight minute dough rate
of reaction, one phosphate manufacturer says.
Calcium-based phosphates dont provide as much middle ground when
determining reaction times. These phosphates tend to be very fast or
very slow acting, one phosphate supplier says.
Preservative systems - In many
bakery food formulas, including chemically leavened and yeast-leavened
products, phosphoric acid is used to control pH. Monocalcium phosphates
help lower pH and represent one of the few compounds that control rope
bacteria in bakery foods, one phosphate supplier says. These
preservatives are used in combination with other preservatives, such as
sorbates and propionates. In these types of systems, monocalcium
phosphates lower the pH in order to get efficacy from the
preservatives, a phosphate supplier says.
Dough conditioning/texture -
High-volume bakers can affect the processing characteristics and final
crumb of a bakery food by using phosphates. In dough conditioning
situations, calcium phosphates optimize dough pH, which allows calcium
phosphates to interact with proteins in a system, one phosphate
supplier says. This application is ideal for yeast-leavened products.
Sodium reduction - Recent health
crazes among Americans have singled out many bad ingredients,
including sodium. However, sodium-based phosphates play a major role in
chemical leavening systems.
Manufacturers are scrambling to release new calcium-based phosphates to
replace sodium-based phosphates in products aimed at health-conscious
consumers. Unfortunately, replacing sodium-based phosphates with
calcium-based phosphates is difficult in many applications.
Calcium-based phosphates generally react quickly, releasing as much as
60% of the CO2 in a very short period of time, one phosphate supplier
says. This functionality makes 1:1 replacement of sodium-based
However, one manufacturers new calcium-based ingredient technology
promises a 1:1 substitution for SAPPs in many bakery food formulas,
including layer cakes, microwaveable cakes, pound cakes, biscuits,
scones, muffins and pancakes. The product uses a chemical mixture of
calcium acid pyrophosphate and monocalcium phosphate. Besides
eliminating a sodium-laden ingredient, the product also has 18% calcium.
Mineral fortification - Boosting
calcium content is only one instance where phosphates are used to
fortify a formula with nutritionally rich minerals. You can add these
ingredients without affecting anything else in the formula, one
phosphate supplier says. We work with customers to find out what their
entire system is made up of, and then we come up with a system that
wont interfere with anything in the formula.
The supplier says that calcium is the most commonly requested mineral
enrichment, followed by potassium and magnesium. When these minerals are
delivered with a phosphorous system, some studies show that the
phosphorous promotes improved absorption of minerals.