Baking is an art that requires precision, creativity, and a touch of science. One of the key ingredients used in baking is sugar, which not only adds sweetness but also plays a crucial role in texture and structure. However, sometimes achieving the desired texture can be challenging, especially when it comes to creating soft and gooey centers in baked goods like pastries or chocolates. This is where invertase enzyme comes into play.
Invertase is a natural enzyme derived from yeast or bacteria that has gained popularity among bakers for its ability to break down sucrose (table sugar) into its two component sugars – glucose and fructose. This process is known as inversion because it literally inverts the molecular structure of sucrose.
The magic happens when invertase comes into contact with sucrose-rich foods during baking. As soon as heat activates this enzyme, it starts breaking down sucrose molecules into glucose and fructose. These simple sugars have different properties than their original form; they are more hygroscopic (attract moisture) and have lower melting points.
When incorporated into recipes such as filled chocolates or cream-filled pastries, invertase creates a delightful surprise for your taste buds by transforming these treats from ordinary to extraordinary. The enzymatic action causes the filling to become softer over time due invertase enzyme to increased moisture absorption from the surrounding environment.
One classic example where invertase shines is chocolate-covered cherries – those delectable candies with liquid centers that burst with flavor when you bite into them. The secret behind their lusciousness lies within the use of invertase enzyme during production. By adding invertase to cherry cordial fillings before enrobing them in chocolate, candy makers ensure that over time, these sweet delights develop their signature oozy center.
Apart from enhancing textures and flavors in confections like creamsicles or marshmallow-filled treats, invertase also plays a role in extending the shelf life of baked goods. The increased moisture content created by invertase helps prevent staling and keeps products fresher for longer.
While invertase is widely used in commercial baking, it is also available to home bakers who want to experiment with creating their own unique desserts. It can be purchased as a liquid or powder form from specialty baking stores or online retailers.