Concept of Zavarka

What is Zavarka?

Zavarka is a semiproduct produced in the bakeries by mixing boiling water with different flours, up to the gelling point. Along this process dextrines and other simple sugars are released, and these sugars play an important role in keeping the bread fresh, with moist and juicy crumb.

“real taste” of rye bread
The boiled flour technique originated in Russia under the name of Zavarka is used to improve taste, texture and shelf life of bread. It is commonly used for dark rye breads, traditionally produced in Russia, Ukraine and the Baltic countries, containing a minimum of 60 % rye. Zavarka can be used alone or as an ingredient to improve taste and shelf life. However it is often used as a boosting base for the acidification of rye sourdoughs or combined with a mature sourdough.

Technology and preparation of Zavarka

Flour contains approximatively 70% starch. Starch is an abundant polymeric carbohydrate, which consists of a large number of glucose units joined by glycosidic bonds. Starch is the main source of stored energy in cereal grains and makes up about 60 – 75% of the weight of grains. 70 – 80% of the world population’s calorie consumption is derived from starch. The versatile use of starch plays an important role, especially in gelling, thickening, moistureretention, stabilizing, texturizing but also anti-staling. The starch polymer can be cut into smaller pieces by enzymes, like amylase. However, the β-1,4 bonds of cellulose are not susceptible to amylase.

By treating starch with water and high temperatures (60-80° C), starch is swelled and loses its semi-crystalline structure. The Zavarka premix has unique properties due to its pregelatinized nature which was obtained through heat treatment. This treatment creates excellent water binding properties as well as a sweet taste. Zavarka is able to enhance the shelf-life of bread…. As an end result of this actions, oligo-sugars (maltose, saccharose) as well as simple sugars (e.g. glucose) molecules are released from starch. Due to this reactions, Zavarka participates to a delay of starch retrogradation (known as a one of the main causes of bread staling during several days storage) but also to a naturally sweet taste of bread.

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Zavarka can be used to slow down staling and preserve softness, as examined through tests, using a texturometer to measure the firmness of loaves made with rye flour.

improvement of shelf life!

evolution of firmness up to 6 days


Source: F. Delchambre et al.: Maturation of sourdough on saccharified
scalded flour: what impact on fermentation, bread taste and shelf life?, 2015. Lesaffre Library.

According to the study, when used Inventis Zavarka (scalded flours and sourdough) there is a synergistic effect on bread shelf life. Breads with Inventis Zavarka are more juicy, fresh in mouth, as the crumb texture stays rather stable along 6 days.

Breads with Zavarka are more flexible and humid in touch in comparison to breads without scalded flours and sourdough.