Enzymatic improvers are enzymes obtained from microbial or fungal cultures, added as technical adjuvants to flour, with the aim of improving the dough characteristics in bakery products. They are used in a low ppm range and, being technical adjuvants, can go undeclared on the label. Many types of enzymatic improvers are present on the market, such as amylases, lipases, proteases, xylanases, glucose oxidases, and others, each with a different function. Analytical methods capable of detecting these enzymes are needed, particularly for bakery companies, in order to monitor the quality of raw materials and to detect any undeclared presence. In the present work, specific peptide markers, obtained by enzymatic digestion, have been used to detect the presence of enzymatic improvers by LC-MS/MS techniques. Promising results were obtained for some enzymes acting on the carbohydrate fraction (glucoamylase, glucose oxidase, xylanase) in which amounts as low as 20 ppm could be identified in blind flour samples. For lipases and proteases the method proved to be very effective in terms of specific identification, even if less sensitive.
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