Market Insights

Basel, 24 February 2022

Phosphate free raising agents for baked goods

Many baked goods require either organic or chemical leavening agents to loosen the dough. Already before and mainly during baking carbon dioxide is released, which leads to the formation of small bubbles in the dough and thus loosens it up. The most commonly used leavening agents are baking yeast and baking powder. Baking powders usually consist of a bicarbonate, a leavening acid and starch.

Phosphate-based leavening acids like sodium acid pyrophosphate (SAPP) have dominated the chemical raising or leavening agents market since the end of the 19th century. In recent years, however, concerns have been raised over the effect on health of excessive phosphate consumption.

Studies suggest that high phosphate levels may increase the risk of adverse effects on bone health in people with calcium deficits or the risk of cardiovascular disease in people with kidney disease [1-5]. Other concerns with phosphates are related to their sustainability since they are obtained from minerals, which are a finite resource. The phosphate mining process consumes large amounts of resources itself and releases wastes that can be environmentally hazardous as well as to the human health.

These concerns about health and sustainability have led to a steady increase in demand for non-phosphate alternatives. However, the release profile of CO2 of many phosphate-free leavening acids, which is needed during the baking process of products, often differs from the one of phosphate-containing baking acids, leading to differences in the finished baking products. The CO2 release profile of raising agents is a crucial parameter during the baking process since it can have a significant impact on the finished product in terms of height, sensory aspects, texture and appearance. Furthermore, the CO2 release profile is different for various products as some bakery products need a rapid release in the dough but lower levels during the baking process, while others need the opposite. Therefore, there is no universally applicable raising agent yet. Thus, the usage of the right leavening agent for the corresponding product is important to meet the specific individual requirements.

Jungbunzlauer offers the ideal replacement solution for phosphate-free leavening agents:

The sustainable and biodegradable ingredients glucono-delta-lactone (GdL), encapsulated glucono-delta-lactone and monosodium citrate, which can be used alone or in combination as alternatives to the standard leavening agent SAPP in fine bakery products.

Glucono-delta-lactone (GdL), the anhydrous form of natural occurring gluconic acid, is well known as a leavening acid and is frequently used in the bakery industry. GdL by Jungbunzlauer is produced by fermentation and is characterised by its uniquely mild taste and its ability to modulate reaction rate by temperature. One disadvantage of GdL is that it may react prematurely with a CO2 source such as sodium bicarbonate when stored in the presence of moisture.

One solution to this problem is to encapsulate glucono-delta-lactone. Over the last few years Jungbunzlauer has developed three encapsulated types of GdL (eGdL) based on different coating technologies and processes. Jungbunzlauer’s leavening systems also include monosodium citrate (MSC), a monobasic salt of citric acid, which is also produced by fermentation.

MSC is a salt obtained by partial neutralisation and as such occupies a position midway between citric acid and a neutralised citrate.

Would you like to know more about phosphate-free leavening agents and how Jungbunzlauer was able to mimic the reaction rates of SAPP 10, 15, 28 and 40 and perfectly replace them in muffins?

You can find some of this data in our facts (article) here: facts - phosphate-free raising agents

We also look forward to receiving your requests, which you may address to generic



[1] Foley RM. Phosphate levels and cardiovascular disease in the general population. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol, 2009, 4, 1136−1139.

[2] Anderson JJ. Potential health concerns of dietary phosphorus: cancer, obesity, and hypertension. Ann N Y Acad Sci., 2013, 1301, 1−8.

[3] Itkonen ST, Karp HJ, Kemi VE, Kokkonen EM, Saarnio EM, Pekkinen MH, Kärkkäinen MU, Laitinen EK, Turanlahti MI, Lamberg-Allardt CJ.

Associations among total and food additive phosphorus intake and carotid intima-media thickness − a cross-sectional study in a middle-aged population in Southern Finland. Nutr J. 2013, 12, 94.

[4] Menon MC, Ix JH. Dietary phosphorus, serum phosphorus, and cardiovascular dis-ease. Ann N Y Acad Sci., 2013, 1301, 21−6.

[5] Calvo MS, Moshfegh AJ, Tucker KL. Assessing the Health Impact of Phosphorus in the Food Supply: Issues and Considerations. Adv Nutr., 2014, 5, 104−113.