World Grain - July 2024 - 24

FEATURE: MEXICO'S FAVORITE FINGER FOOD
Tortilla production process
In the industrial manufacture of wheat tortillas, first the
ingredients are weighed and the dough prepared. After
mixing, the dough is rested for five minutes, then cut and
shaped into balls of approximately 15 to 60 grams each
with the help of a rounding machine. These dough pieces
are allowed to rest for 10 to 15 minutes, then pressed
into disks with hot plates set to 200°C to 230°C (392°F to
446°F). Since both thick and thin versions of this product
are consumed, thickness ranges from 0.2 to 0.5 centimeters.
Tortillas are baked industrially in a conveyor oven at
approximately 190°C to 220°C (374°F to 428°F) for 20
to 30 seconds and flipped multiple times. In small-scale
production, the process takes place on a hot griddle or
hot plate at approximately 200°C (392°F). When the
tortilla puffs (after 15 to 20 seconds, depending on its
thickness), it is flipped to bake the other side for 10 to
15 seconds. Finally, it is cooled and packaged.
Focus on shelf life
The crucial topic for industrial producers is the shelf life
of the tortillas. Some retail chains demand a minimum
shelf life of three months for wrapped bread, and even
periods of up to 120 days are sometimes discussed.
The main reason for this is the logistics aspect. It
may take several weeks for the wrapped products to
be delivered to the most distant parts of the country
or exported abroad. To ensure that the tortillas remain
edible in the customer's home for as long as possible,
they must have a shelf life of several months.
Whereas microbiological problems can be solved
easily with preservatives like sorbic acid, propionic
acid and lactic acid, the product-specific attributes
present a much bigger challenge.
Enzyme design
For mills, these targets can only be achieved with the
use of highly functional flour improvers. To ensure that
the tortillas stay soft and succulent for months and do
not stick together in the pack or break when filled or
rolled, precise interaction between enzymes, emulsifiers,
oxidizing agents and hydrocolloids is necessary.
MC Mühlenchemie offers a toolbox with a host of different
agents that ensure the right solution, depending
on the application and the quality of the flour. They
include the enzyme system Flexizym, the dough softeners
MCsoft and MCrelax, baking premixes from the
MCbest series and the ascorbic acid product Elco C,
that is suitable for flour applications.
Besides the shelf-life topic, some retail chains have
another requirement that is very important to them in
connection with tortillas: namely a label-friendly list of
ingredients. With innovative raw material concepts, the
baking and milling industry can find appropriate, mod24
Ingredients
Wheat
flour tortilla ingredients
Baker's
All-purpose flour
Water
Shortening
Salt
Baking powder
percentage [%]
100
48-60
5-15
1-2.5
0-3
Amount [g]
1,000
480-600
50-150
10-25
0-30
ern answers to clean label questions. Synergisticallyacting
flour improvers consisting solely of enzymatic
components can replace emulsifiers like mono and diglycerides,
SSL or CSL partially or even wholly.
Problems and solutions
The following is a list of the most common challenges
encountered in tortilla production and how to avoid them:
Problem: Sticky dough
Possible causes: Prolonged mixing and resting;
high amylolytic activity; high dough temperature; lowfat
formulation.
Solutions: Reduce mixing and resting time; use flour
with low enzymatic activity (high Falling Number);
reduce the addition of amylolytic enzymes (if any),
add enzymes for anti-sticking (e.g. Alphamalt Gloxy
TGO); check the water temperature frequently; add fat
to the recipe; use glycerides or other emulsifiers (e.g.
Mulgaprime 90F, Mulgaprime SSL).
Problem: Poor machinability of the dough
Possible causes: Addition of an inappropriate
amount of water (more or less than required); with
weak flour: low gluten content and high tenacity; with
strong flour: high gluten content.
Solutions: Choose the best flour, with special emphasis
on its rheological characteristics; use more water in
the recipe; incorporate shortening, emulsifiers such as
monoglycerides (e.g. Mulgaprime 90F) or lipases (e.g.
Alphamalt EFX Tera) to improve dough machinability;
for weak flour incorporate oxidizing agents like ascorbic
acid (Elco P-100) or azodicarbonamide (OXEM)
or oxidizing enzymes (e.g. Alphamalt Gloxy TGO) to
strengthen the dough; for strong flour use dough softeners
like cysteine (e.g. MCsoft S) or enzyme-based solutions
(e.g. MC T-REX); adjust mixing and resting times.
Problem: Drying and staling of tortillas
Possible causes: Dough too firm; low water retention;
starch retrogradation; use of thermosensitive amylolytic
enzymes.
July 2024 / World Grain / World-Grain.com
http://www.World-Grain.com

World Grain - July 2024

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of World Grain - July 2024

World Grain - July 2024 - Intro
World Grain - July 2024 - 1
World Grain - July 2024 - 2
World Grain - July 2024 - 3
World Grain - July 2024 - 4
World Grain - July 2024 - 5
World Grain - July 2024 - 6
World Grain - July 2024 - 7
World Grain - July 2024 - 8
World Grain - July 2024 - 9
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World Grain - July 2024 - 11
World Grain - July 2024 - 12
World Grain - July 2024 - 13
World Grain - July 2024 - 14
World Grain - July 2024 - 15
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World Grain - July 2024 - 17
World Grain - July 2024 - 18
World Grain - July 2024 - 19
World Grain - July 2024 - 20
World Grain - July 2024 - 21
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World Grain - July 2024 - 23
World Grain - July 2024 - 24
World Grain - July 2024 - 25
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