The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Need help identifying bread aroma additives used in commercial bakeries (UK)

khobz's picture

Need help identifying bread aroma additives used in commercial bakeries (UK)

Hello all. I hope you can help me identify a smell.

My local supermarkets and bakeries (in the UK) all bake their own bread and rolls in-store. Part of the baking process involves the addition of what they call an "emulsifier" mixture - an off-white/beige grainy powder.

However, this mixture contains more than just emulsifiers. It's also responsible for a strong and unmistakeably "bready" aroma which then permeates through the entire supermarket and, of course, affects the aroma and taste of the finished product.

I am trying to find out exactly what ingredient(s) contribute to this very recognisable aroma.

I have asked the in-store bakers however they (understandably) don't know. All they know is the aroma comes from this "emulsifier mix". I was allowed to smell a sample of the powder and it is indeed the source of the "fresh bread" smell.

It does not smell like yeast, alcohol, sourdough, or hops. I would describe it the stereotypical smell of a completed loaf of bread, only stronger. The kind of smell you get when you rip open a soft morning roll (indeed, morning rolls are a prime example of a product which makes heavy use of this aroma). The same smell is not replicable by methods such as long fermenting or the addition of cereals into a dough; this aroma is definitely "chemically enhanced".

I appreciate whatever mixture is being used is probably a proprietary blend of aromatic compounds, however I am wondering if anyone out there has ever encountered such a mixture before, and could point me towards a supplier and/or a source for something similar?

It's such a common aroma throughout virtually all commercial bakeries in the UK that somebody must have encountered it before.


GaryBishop's picture

I interested also. I'm posting so I can be notified of updates.

David R's picture
David R

...listed on the label?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

before bread is made in an atomic replicator.  

"Computer, brioche please with raisins."  

You've awakened the mad scientist in me.

Also branched thruout the world, see wiki page.  Demeter fragrance library or library of fragrances

BobbyFourFingers's picture

Thanks for posting this. I’ve always wondered what unholy concoction was responsible for the abhorrent smell of Subway’s bread. It never occurred to me that it might have to do with the loaves being frozen.

clazar123's picture

To go with  "Computer, Tea-Earl Grey-Hot"

LOL! So, funny, Mini.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

First, a low temp. roasted mixtures of flour and sugar.  

Low temp roasted malt is also an option.  Then go from there.  

msneuropil's picture
clazar123's picture

I don't think it will fit in my kitchen! What a hoot!

msneuropil's picture

I imagined that bread bot comes with a bread smell atomizer too.  LOL!

I mean really??  Why in the world make such a thing other than to make people *think* the bread is their own or to get people to come eat more of their mass market frozen dough crap by putting out fresh loaves every hour all in view of the public.   So appealing.  NOT!  I imagine there will be folks that see the price of their custom bread...and go buy the other stuff cause the smell entices them to buy something.

I just came from the store...and there was a huge display and these guys from Franz offering their new "NAKED BREAD".  

I asked them...what do you mean.

Anyways...the labeling is readable...nothing in it we don't put in our own bread...except for the "enzymes" and ascorbic acid.  

I don't buy bread unless I am away at my parents place and must eat something besides their plain white bread.  

I didn't smell anything, but it was packaged.  

I didn't even look to see what the price was...but no was more expensive than most breads cause they track the "flour from the farm to the table".  Like a bakery doesn't already know where their flour comes from??  LOL!  Marketing to make one feel like spending more money.