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Emulsifiers are surface-active substances which reduce or practically cancel out the repulsive powers between two non-mixing phases, such as water and fat, for example, and, in this way, enable the formation of emulsions and foams. This becomes clear by the construction of an emulsifier which consists of a lipophilic (“affinity to fats”) and a hydrophilic (“affinity to water”) component. The functionality can be understood by means of the drawings in illustration 3.7 and 3.8.


The effects, compositions and the performance spectrum of emulsifiers are different. These are used in improvers individually or combined to achieve the baking-technological effect desired. Here, the following emulsifiers, among others, are used:

  • lecithins (E 322)
  • mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids (E 471)
  • mono- and diacetyl tartaric acids of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids (DATEM) (E 472e)

The ability to combine fat-soluble and water-soluble substances with one another makes it possible to stabilize the gas bubbles in the dough which develop during fermentation. Over and above, emulsifiers provide a more stable gluten network and a larger resistance of dough pieces. It is precisely due to machine processing via roll installations, long-time dough methods overnight and other technological challenges that the use of emulsifiers is necessary. In the case of baked goods, a finer crumb texture, a more tender texture, a larger volume and a better freshkeeping are achieved.

The construction of different emulsifiers is shown in illustration 3.9. The basis is formed here by the trivalent sugar alcohol glycerol which is esterified with a varying number of fatty acids.

Monoglyceride = one fatty acid, diglyceride = two fatty acids and triglyceride = three fatty acids. Lecithin is, in addition to two fatty acids, also esterified with phosphoric acid and choline. In addition to two fatty acids, DATEM is esterified with tartaric acid which is, in turn, esterified with two molecules of acetic acid.