The impact of differences in dough transient gluten network on gluten cross-linking during baking is insufficiently understood. We varied dough mixing times and/or added sodium stearoyl lactylate (SSL; 1.0% on flour dry matter basis) to the recipe and studied the effect on subsequent gluten polymerization during heating. The level of proteins extractable in sodium dodecyl sulfate containing media was fitted using first order kinetics. The extent and rate of gluten polymerization were lower when mixing for 8min than when mixing for 2min. This effect was even more outspoken in the presence of SSL. The present observations were explained as resulting from less gliadin incorporation in the polymer gluten network and from interaction of SSL with the gluten proteins. Finally, a higher degree of gluten polymerization during baking increased the firmness of the baked products.
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