Africa's bakers rise to new challenges

African consumers want more bread and baked goods that last longer, but flour quality, bread recipes, and consumer tastes vary widely. Novozymes is working to bring new solutions and options to the continent’s bakers.

The types of bread vary significantly across Africa: packaged, white sandwich bread in South Africa, pao (buns) in Mozambique, baguettes in West Africa, flat bread in North Africa.

The one thing they have in common is enzymes for baking, which present new opportunities to the continent's industrial and artisanal bakers.

Enzymes help improve the volume, structure and quality of dough, and ensure the bread stays fresher for longer. That’s especially good for Africa’s industrial bakers and formulators who want solutions for packaged and sliced bread, cakes and biscuits.

"Novozymes engages with customers and local partners in several sub-regions across Africa," says Esra Özcömlekci, Industry Sales manager – Baking, Novozymes. "We work with a combination of bread improvers, flour mills, baking customers and big integrated food companies that produce bread as well as other food products, which offer opportunities for us to help our customers and the wider baking industry."

Improving flour, building insights

Novozymes’ larger baking customers in Africa typically have their own mills and bakeries. In close collaboration with the customer, Novozymes’ improves their flour through use of specific enzymes and implements the solution in the customer's production facilities.

"Many of our African customers also want to learn from European trends in food and beverages, and want us to help them localize those trends for their consumers," Esra says.

Novozymes brings such market and technology insight to customers through workshops, and in turn, learns more about the needs and tastes of African consumers. That helps Novozymes develop innovation specific to the African market.

For instance, Novozymes is exploring enzymatic solutions for flat breads and how to bake bread using local grains such as corn (maize), sorghum and cassava.

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