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DATEM (diacetyl tartaric acid ester of mono- and diglycerides, also E472e) is an emulsifier primarily used in baking. It is used to strengthen the dough by building a strong gluten network. It is used in crusty breads, such as rye bread with a springy, chewy texture, as well as biscuits, coffee whiteners, salsa con queso, ice cream, and salad dressings.
The exact mechanism is not well understood, but DATEM appears to interact with the hydrophobic parts of the gluten, helping the proteins unfold and form cross-linked structures. DATEM is composed of mixed esters of glycerin in which one or more of the hydroxyl groups of glycerin has been esterified by diacetyl tartaric acid and by fatty acids. The ingredient is prepared by the reaction of diacetyl tartaric anhydride with mono- and diglycerides that are derived from edible sources. The major components are a glycerol molecule with a stearic acid residue, a diacetyltartaric acid residue and a free secondary hydroxyl group.
Unlike other commercially used dough emulsifiers, DATEM does not form starch complexes. Its main function is as a softener. Typically DATEM is 0.375 to 0.5% of the total flour weight in most commercial baking.
DATEM is derived from tartaric acid and monoglycerides and diglycerides.
DATEM is approved by the European Food Safety Authority and classified as food additive E472e.
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