High-quality bread is characterized by a high volume, soft and elastic crumb with uniform appearance, and a relatively extended shelf life. In recent years, there has been increasing interest in hydrocolloids due to their natural origin, effects on dough rheology and bread quality.Hydrocolloids have also been satisfactorily used as antistaling agents. Moreover, new technologies such as BOT (baking off technologies) can use these improvers to compensate for the damage by freezing (Selomulyo & Zhou, 2007). Nutritional trends towards a more healthy diet have promoted the consumption of WG breads and composite breads (mixtures formulated with WF and flours from other sources) that can include high contents of fiber and/or other beneficial components.
The present review analyzes the effect of the most common hydrocolloids on diverse aspects of wheat breadmaking. This encompasses exudate gums, gums from seaweeds, modified celluloses, pectins, galactomannans from leguminous seeds and exopolysaccharides from microbial fermentation. Hydrocolloids are employed to improve dough performance, bread characteristics and sensorial quality. They are also added to minimize non desired changes in crumb texture during storage (anstistaling effect). In bake off technologies (frozen dough, par-baked bread) they can help to preserve the structure from damage by freezing (less water crystallization) thus rendering acceptable products. Finally, nutritional improved mixtures of wheat and other flours can take advantage from hydrocolloids addition in order to compensate a diminished quality.