Ascorbic acid is a flour treatment agent that improves dough properties, fermentation stability and fermentation tolerance, and also flour shelf life. In detail, only the L-threo ascorbic acid (vitamin C) acts on the dough.
All other compounds of ascorbic acid with chemically related configuration are not effective.After the grain is milled into flour, it usually needs to ripen for a few weeks to give the flour's own enzymes an opportunity to break down flour starch into sugars and thus improve the flour's baking ability.
Natural ripening can be accelerated by adding ascorbic acid. Optimum baking quality is achieved after only two days by adding 1-2 g per 100 kg of flour. This saves the miller storage time and thus costs. When added to the dough, the dosage is 0.001-0.005% (based on the amount of flour).
Ascorbic acid is the technical term for vitamin C, which must be declared as food additive E300 on the flour packaging. It counteracts the oxidation of the flour, thus slowing down the rancidity of the fatty acids originating from the germ and strengthening the gluten.During kneading, the ascorbic acid is oxidized to dehydro-ascorbic acid. This oxidation product is actually responsible for the change in dough properties, not the ascorbic acid itself.
During baking, the heat-unstable ascorbic acid is destroyed. Negative effects of the acid are not known so far.
In the organic sector, instead of ascorbic acid, acerola extract with 17% vitamin C is used. (Dosage of the powder in the dough approx. 0.1% related to the amount of flour).