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A study to investigate ways to reduce the dustiness of bakery ingredients and exposure to allergens

This study investigated whether changing the ingredients of bakery improvers would decrease their dustiness and, consequently, help to reduce the exposure of bakers to allergens in the bakery dust. The study was carried out in partnership with the Association of Bakery Ingredient Manufacturers (ABIM).

Typical ingredients in bakery improvers are wheat flour, fungal alpha amylase, soya flour, calcium sulphate, vegetable oil and emulsifier. Emulsifier is made from data ester (E472e) with a ‘free flow agent’, usually calcium silicate in the UK, to prevent sticking in bakery equipment. The combinations of ingredients that provided the biggest decrease in dustiness and exposure were identified using several tests including dustiness testing, particle sizing, user testing with simulated bakery tasks, and analysis for protein, allergens and calcium.

This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

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Updated 2010-12-20