Function of Water and Salt (NaCl) in Bakery Products

Water: Water is in many respects the most important component.

It has properties not exhibit by any other compound. It is a colourless, transparent, odourless, liquid which forms the seas, lakes, rivers, and rain and is the basis of the fluids of living organisms.

Chemistry of water, it is made up of 2 molecules of Hydrogen and 1 molecule of Oxygen. Chemical formula is H2O. Its density is 1000kg/m3. Boiling point is 100°C & Melting point is 0°C.

Water is filtered and treated with UV before use to ensure that water which is being used in cookies or biscuits manufacturing is free from any impurities and bacteria.

Water has been called the universal solvent.

Function of Water in Bakery Products (Biscuits and Cookies)

  • The chemical, physical, microbial characteristics of water have significant effect on the quality of the bakery product. The amount and type of dissolved minerals and organic substances in water can affect the colour, flavour and texture of finished product as well as the response to machining of dough and batter.
  • When mixed with flour, protein Gliadin and Glutenin of flour combine to form Gluten, whose mechanical behaviour allows the formation of desirable structures while baking.
  • The water is also converted into the steam which acts as a leavening agent and helps in puffing.

Salt:Salt plays a very important role in baking.

  • It is more than just a seasoning or flavour enhancer. It also acts as natural preservatives in biscuits and cookies.
  • Common salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride, a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of salts; salt in its natural form as a crystalline mineral is known as rock salt or halite. Chemical formula is NaCl.

Function of Salt in Cookies and Biscuits (Baking)

  • It functions to strengthen gluten structure and make it more stretchable.
  • Primarily used for flavour in baked products it dominates the excessive sweetness of sugar. It reduces the caramelization point of sugar and enhances the brown colour.
  • It is hygroscopic and thus it retains the moisture in biscuits. It imparts taste and has flavour enhancing properties.
  • It forms a taste contrast in the background, which enhances the sweetness from the sugars present in the dough or batter. It has a water binding or hygroscopic capability enabling it to regulate fermentation.
  • Too little salt causes the dough to ferment too fast and wild, while too much salt slows down the fermentation process. Salt is also a toughening agent because it strengthens the gluten (protein).


  • Water is used for better mixing and aeration and to provide appropriate moisture to the dough. By increasing and decreasing the quantity of water during mixing we can make dough hard and loose.
  • Too much and too less water drastically affects the shape, size, appearance and overall quality of biscuits or cookies.
  • You can read our on-line troubleshooting of biscuits or cookies while processing to know more about how each and every ingredient and other parameters afters the quality of biscuits or cookies.
  • While salt provides flavour we feel salty and sweet taste of biscuits due to the presence of salt in cookies or biscuits. Salt is added during mixing in mixers.

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