Eggs are usually included in baked goods because of their functionality. With whole dairy, color and flavor are often the driver of their inclusion in bakery, although more is not necessarily better.

“With dairy, there is only so much of the cheese, milk, butter or cream you can add before it negatively impacts texture or functionality but without giving you enough of the taste,” said Anne Marie Butler, global director of strategy and innovation, Edlong.

She cited the example of cheese scones, a product intended to deliver robust cheese flavor. If too much cheese is added to achieve the desired taste, the dough becomes heavy.

“It won’t rise sufficiently, and you end up with a dense, flat and heavy scone instead of a savory, tasty and light one,” Butler said.

The use of too much butter can negatively impact shelf life.

“In sponge-based products, for example, using butter as the only fat source can lead to a drier crumb, especially over shelf life,” said Susan O’Shaughnessy, senior applications specialist at Edlong. “On the flipside, the addition of vegetable fat in place of some or all of the butter will increase moistness over shelf life but has a negative impact on both taste and color.”

That’s when dairy flavors and concentrates enter the picture. Enzyme-modified cheeses (EMCs), for example, have been around for years. These ingredients are concentrated cheese flavors formed by the enzyme-catalyzed hydrolysis of cheese curds. The result is a viscous slurry that has up to 10 times the flavor of the cheese from which it was made. Such hydrolysis, coupled with fermentation, makes it possible to produce similar emulsions from other whole dairy foods, including butter, cream and yogurt.

These emulsions provide multiple benefits to all types of applications where dairy flavor is desired. They provide the option to reduce or replace dairy commodities for cost savings while increasing overall flavor impact and consumer-perceived product quality. They have low usage levels and allow for claims such as “made with real cheese.”

These emulsions are typically heat stable; therefore, they do not lose their strength during baking. Because they are made from real dairy, they also provide authentic mouthfeel and aroma.

As an alternative to using whole dairy foods in baked goods, bakers will often turn to dried dairy ingredients. These are dehydrated and concentrated forms of whole dairy foods.

Dairy proteins are also dried ingredients. These, however, are used to boost protein content rather than add color or flavor.

– This article is an excerpt from the June 2023 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the entire feature on Dairy & Eggs, click here.