Baking & Snack - September 2022 - 90

featured technical expert Q&A
Richard Leboucher
Puratos USA
Richard Leboucher was born and raised in Paris, but his summers
as a child were spent in the French countryside.
" I would spend my days with farmers growing and harvesting
wheat, and this is how a passion for the baking industry was
born, " he said. " It was always a painful time to go back to city life
after the summer. "
At the Institute of Science and Technology in Paris, Mr.
Leboucher was exposed to baking even further, and he loved
linking the biochemistry science he was learning to real baking
applications related to wheat, flour and bread.
" The biochemistry education was already very much oriented
toward the baking industry, which made it so interesting, " he said.
Mr. Leboucher graduated with master's degrees in cereal biochemistry
and food technology and processing. He spent the first
eight years of his professional career in R&D roles in France before
accepting a position with Puratos USA, where he's worked
for the past 20 years.
At Puratos USA, Mr. Leboucher has served as vice president
of R&D, R&D director and R&D manager, and is currently the
company's R&D director for bakery in Los Angeles. One of the
most recent advancements he helped create is an enzyme-based
solution bakers can use to replace oil in their baked goods.
Even after nearly 30 years in baking, Mr. Leboucher said, the
industry is still full of new challenges that he loves to take on.
" The industry moves very quickly, which provides a lot of opportunities
to come up with
new solutions and new technologies;
it is not a steady industry
where nothing happens, " he said.
" It is really amazing to look at the
bakery products available in the market
and to ask ourselves, 'How many of
these were already in the market five years earlier?'
Besides that, everybody knows in this industry that a good
performing solution in one bakery does not necessarily mean
that the solution will be optimal in another industrial environment.
This is another layer of complexity or, as I like to put it,
another layer of excitement and opportunity. It keeps us sharp
and forces us to never settle for the status quo. Even with existing
solutions, we need to find ways to make them work everywhere. "
While there is plenty of opportunity in the industry, Mr.
Leboucher noted that a big challenge facing it is the lack of skilled
workers and bakers, something he and Puratos are working to
change. The company has opened bakery schools in underprivileged
communities across the globe, including most recently in
Puratos USA's headquarters of Pennsauken, NJ.
" What is nice about this initiative is that not only does it help
the community by providing an education, but it will also help
our industry to find more people interested in bakery and who
will start with a solid formation, " he said.
What role does oil serve in baked goods?
Oil is widely used in baked goods and can have a lot of different
functionalities. At high levels, its role is essentially to bring softness
and texture while contributing to the flavor perception. At
lower levels that I am covering here - less than 5% - it is used
mainly to facilitate slicing for applications like sliced breads and
hamburger buns while contributing to the softness of the crumb
and giving the crumb a shorter bite. At these levels, oil also improves
and facilitates the processing of the dough on automated
lines as the oil serves as a lubricant.
Why may bakers want to remove oil from their formulation?
What are some of the benefits?
Oil prices have skyrocketed over the past year and a half, going
from approximately $0.30/lb to more than $0.80/lb. Although it is
still not a very expensive ingredient in the recipe in terms of $/lb
(compared to enzyme systems, for example), the large quantities
used can end up adding up to large amounts of money at the end
of the year. Supply issues have also been reported; because of that,
90 Baking & Snack September 2022 / www.bakingbusiness.com
removing oil started to appear on the radar screen of bakers. And,
with the ever-growing trend of " better for you, " any reduction in
oil that does not affect the quality of the bread is a benefit. Who
would not choose a bread lower in fat vs. the full-fat version if the
quality and the eating experience remain the same?
What are some of the challenges of removing oil from
a formulation?
The challenges are in all the attributes that these low levels of oil
bring: how to facilitate the slicing of bread without oil, how to keep
that shorter bite that the oil brings and how to keep the processing
ability of the dough when oil is removed. All of these are challenges
that need to be addressed by any potential alternate solution.
What bakery applications are best suited for oil
replacement?
All yeast-raised baked goods that contain less than 10% of oil on
flour weight are good candidates; considering the volumes of sandwich
breads (white, multigrain, whole wheat-bread slices) and
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Baking & Snack - September 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Baking & Snack - September 2022

Baking & Snack - September 2022 - Intro
Baking & Snack - September 2022 - 1
Baking & Snack - September 2022 - 2
Baking & Snack - September 2022 - 3
Baking & Snack - September 2022 - 4
Baking & Snack - September 2022 - 5
Baking & Snack - September 2022 - 6
Baking & Snack - September 2022 - 7
Baking & Snack - September 2022 - 8
Baking & Snack - September 2022 - 9
Baking & Snack - September 2022 - 10
Baking & Snack - September 2022 - 11
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