The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

L-Cysteine

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Bara1's picture
Bara1

L-Cysteine

I've read about L-Cysteine on this forum and elsewhere and I'm trying to get hold of it.  For those who don't know, it's a kind of dough relaxer.  I would like to know where I could get hold of some?  I am in the UK.  But it would be interesting to hear if it's possible to purchase elsewhere too.  Thanks.

MANNA's picture
MANNA

It is a supplement and you should be able to find it with the vitamins and other supplements at your local store. Do take note that it is derived from hair or feathers. It is an amino acid so it relaxes the dough chemically by breaking it down quicker. Here is a link for those interested.

http://www.vrg.org/blog/2011/03/09/l-cysteine-in-bread-products-still-mostly-sourced-from-human-hair-duck-feathers-hog-hair/

 

Bara1's picture
Bara1

Thanks for your reply. Isn't it possible to purchase it as a dough relaxer?  Do you know of anything else which is reasonalby easy to get hold of that has the same effects on dough as L-Cysteine?  I need the dough to be very relaxed so that the dough will stretch well.  In fact it's for noodle dough.

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

reportedly has the same effect. Kill it covering it with salt and stir well, then let it foam:-)

Donkey_hot's picture
Donkey_hot

Bara,  how badly do you want to use such additive in your recipes?  Some health conscious food retailers in US (Whole Foods is one of them) list it as "Unacceptable Ingredient" in the bread products they carry, as below their quality standards.  

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Bara 1,

You can use Sodium Metabisulphite to relax your dough...it is used extensively in biscuit production.   But use minuscule amounts, otherwise your dough will just fall to pieces; we are talking a maximum of 80 parts per million on flour!

Interestingly, industrial UK bakers don't use L-Cysteine that much anymore.   They tend to rely on enzymes wherever possible to formulate dough conditioners and Improvers...because they don't have to tell you what they put in the bread, whereas L-Cysteine has to be declared as an 'e' number.

I'm afraid I don't work with any bakers who use improvers anymore, so I don't have access to anything you could use.   Really you can only buy this sort of preparation in large quantities.   If you are manufacturing commercially, I would contact a supplier such as Bako, or BFP.   I am UK based, by the way.

Best wishes

Andy

 

Bara1's picture
Bara1

Thank you both for your replies.  I don't manufacture commercially Andy.  In fact, what I wanted it for was to make noodles.  I managed to get a sample of what the Chinese use for this particular noodle and I had it analysed in the UK.  I was told that it contained Sodium Dithinite which isn't allowed to be used in the EU for consumption purposes.   This is similar to the Sodium Metabisulphite you mention in that it gives off a sulphur odour when dissolved.  I wish I had more scientific knowledge to understand how they react with the gluten etc so that I could find more alternatives etc.  Anyway, this compound containing the Sodium Dithinite once dissovled in water became a little cloud and I would say almost a blue/green colour.  I suppose that might not be very important here but once added to dough, the dough quickly changed charachteristic and it would almost behave like warm chewing gum which had been left on to of a heater in that it would stretch and stretch.   The analysis also stated:

"This compound is also known as sodium hydrosulphite, but is
also occasionally referred to as as sodium hyposulphide. As a powerful reducing agent it might be expected to have
flour improver properties.
An assay for Dithionite gave the following result:-Sodium Dithionite 0.4%; this chemical is not an approved food
additive in the EU. On this basis the use of the sample material as a flour improver, or for any other purpose in / on
food is not permitted."

I hope that I can get more suggestions of things to try for the purpose I mentioned above.  Of course, I must try out Sodium Metabisulphite as you mentioned Andy.  Thanks.

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Bara 1,

Sodium Metabisulphite is sold by home brew shops, as it is used as a sterlising agent for cleaning out beer and wine bottles and other equipment.

It is very powerful stuff; don't overdose or your dough will disintegrate completely.   If you want to know about industrial dough mixing, look up the "di-sulphide interchange".   80ppm equates to 0.08g per kilo of flour, ok!?

Best wishes

Andy

Bara1's picture
Bara1

Thanks Andy. When you mean 'dissintigrate" do you meanlike I described before ie becomes like chewing gum?  And if too much of the compound I mentioned which was Chinese was added then the dough would become not liquid but more like liquid in characteristics and impossible to use basically but it could be reclaimed after a period in the freezer.  Anyway, this is interesting to me and I'll check your link tomorrow when I get up. :-)

ananda's picture
ananda

No, there's no way back Bara 1,

If the dose is too high, then your dough is useless.

Of course, there is another great dough relaxant: time!   Leaving the dough to rest is a great alternative to chemicals..especially ones which don't carry approval for food use.

All good wishes

Andy

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Just mix up some sugar water and yeast, let it grow for an hour and heat it in the microwave to 50°C to kill off the yeast. Then use a little bit in your dough.

grind's picture
grind

I just read an article that stated L-Cysteine is (or can be) made from human or animal hair.  Grossed me out and I'm even a vegetarian.

Farmpride's picture
Farmpride

i just thought i would point out this site ( www.preparedpantry.com/premium-dough-conditioner.aspx ) if nothing else it will give ya the list of ingredients and you can seek some of them, like ascorbic acid, and years ago potassium iodine was used before broamating... and lecithin, and yes enzymes, i have been testing a enzyme mix lately so i am not ready to give much about them yet... what amount do you need? just doing a few loaves or a few noodles?

albert/farmpride.com

just thought to add, you can try a little malt syrup in the dough also, not allot, just like 1 oz in a few lbs of  flour..you could find that in any brew shop. start slow with it. also it is a sugar ....so you know.

Bara1's picture
Bara1

I haven't got round to trying any of these suggestions yet as I've been busy.  I would want to be able to make hopefully quite a lot of noodles in a 'cafe' setting.  I've seen people say to rest the dough for and hour/a few hours etc but you really need something to speed up the process if your making it to order for other people.  I've never seeb anybody doing it in a commercial setting without some form of relaxant.....even those Chinese noodle pullers who've been doing it for years.  But trying to get information from them on what they are using is bordering on the impossible.