Formulating For Health

Low-carb diets limit the amount of ingested carbohydrates and, since carbohydrates are the most readily available source of energy for the body, a low-carb diet encourages the body to burn fat for fuel. A useful tool to maintaining a low-carb diet is the Glycemic Index (GI).

The GI is used to measure the effect of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels. High-GI foods contain sugars and most starches. They are digested quickly and cause a spike in blood sugar. The GI of glucose, for example, is 100.

Low-GI foods are digested and absorbed slowly by the body, resulting in a gradual increase in blood sugar and insulin levels. Foods with a low GI include those high in fiber and are sometimes called “good carbs.”

When developing foods with fewer carbs and a low GI, the goal is most often to replace sugars, flours and starches with fiber (both soluble and insoluble), proteins, resistant starches, soy flour or 100% whole- wheat flour and vital wheat gluten. Robert H. Veghte, business manager of Roxlor, provided information in his presentation on replacing sugars in baked goods using ingredients that provide health benefits.

Sugar is a vital part of many baked goods because it provides bulk, sweetness, structure, texture and sometimes browning/color. Removing sugar also can affect the water activity of a product. When replacing sugar, it is often necessary to use a combination of ingredients to mimic all of the attributes sugar provides.

Some sugar bulk replacements include sugar alcohols, oligosaccharides, resistant starches, polydextrose, fruit and vegetable fibers. Considerations when blending ingredients include the cooling effect of sugar alcohols, mouthfeel, physical properties such as water activity, laxative effects and health benefits.

To replace the sweetness of sugar, high-intensity sweeteners can be used in combination with ingredients that provide bulk. Often more than one sweetener is used to create the best flavor, as blends taste better than single products. Combining bulking agents with high-intensity sweeteners provides both bulk and sweetness. Suppliers in this industry can pre-blend materials for easier use in formulating.

“Formulating Low-carb/Low-glycemic Bakery Products,” Robert H. Veghte, Roxlor,,

Formulation of Omega-3 Powder into Baked Goods

Baked goods are a staple of the American diet and, as such, provide an ideal delivery mechanism for omega-3 fatty acids, explained Jennifer Berry, director, business development—Healthy Food Ingredients, Ocean Nutrition Canada. Still, all omega-3s are not created equal. Omega-3 from fish containing eicosapentaenoic acid/docosahexaenoic acid (EPA/DHA) is the only type of omega-3 clinically proven and supported by an FDA health claim, the American Heart Association and the new USDA/HHS dietary guidelines, Berry noted.

The mass media run stories almost daily on the benefits of eating fish or fish oil. As a result, people know omega-3 EPA/DHA from fish is good for health, yet 32% of Americans state they are deficient in this nutrient. Even though consumers know fish is good for them, many do not like the taste, odor or expense. Overall, 25% of Americans do not eat fish at all, a condition that has caused a dietary deficiency of omega-3 EPA/DHA in the U.S. The FDA now permits a qualified heart-health claim, so baked goods manufacturers can communicate this proven health benefit to consumers.

Omega-3 EPA/DHA from fish oil brings significant food formulation challenges, and it is important to choose an ingredient that can overcome them all, including off-flavors and -odors, oxidation and decreased shelflife. One way to overcome these challenges is to use microencapsulated fish oil. A robust microencapsulated process produces a stable powder that readily incorporates into baked goods without having to change the production process.

“Formulation of Omega-3 Powder into Baked Goods,” Jennifer Berry, Ocean Nutrition Canada,,

Acacia Gum in Bakery Products:

Multifunctional Benefits

Acacia gum has been used for years in traditional applications such as confectionery and flavor emulsions. Sharrann Simmons, vice president and general manager, Colloides Naturels Inc., explained acacia gum's health benefits and its newfound application as a dietary fiber in many foods, including bakery items. In baked goods such as cookies, muffins and even tortillas, acacia gum provides an excellent source of dietary fiber (>90%) while also contributing functional benefits.

With the rate of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease increasing rapidly in all industrialized countries, demand is growing for healthy foods that are nutritious and also address current health issues. Fiber-fortified and low-glycemic diets quickly are becoming known for preventing diabetes and cardiovascular disease while helping control weight.

All natural, GMO-free, flavorless and odorless, acacia gum is an effective and economical source of soluble-dietary fiber. It can be added easily to most foods and has proven nutritional benefits, resulting in a prebiotic impact for enhanced digestive health and improved regularity. Acacia gum facilitates a significant reduction of the total glycemic index of fortified foods. Thanks to its complex structure and high molecular weight, acacia gum is fermented slowly and has been clinically proven to be well tolerated, even at high use levels (no intestinal distress below 50g/day intake).

In recent external research, acacia gum was found effective for fiber fortification of soft cookies and muffins. In the applications, multifunctional benefits included shelflife extension, moisture control and texture modification. A 3% use level in soft cookies resulted in good texture control for over 30 days, with reduced crumbling and enhanced chewiness. Acacia gum is effective in many bakery products and can offer the multifunctional benefits of adding dietary fiber while also extending shelflife.

“Acacia Gum in Bakery Products: Multifunctional Benefits,” Sharrann Simmons, Colloides Naturels Inc.,;

Egg Functionality in Baked Goods

Today, the percentage of eggs used as ingredients in confections, breads, mayonnaise, salad dressings, ice cream, noodles, desserts, breakfast foods and other mixes is steadily increasing. In addition to the egg proteins, other components found in eggs such as lipids, lipoproteins and phospholipids serve as key functional ingredients in many products. Eggs provide foaming, emulsification and coagulation properties in addition to contributing to crystallization control, texture, binding, color, flavor and nutrition, explained Shelly McKee, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Poultry Science, Auburn University, and technical advisor to the American Egg Board.

Many confections such as angel food cake mixes are dependent on the foaming properties of egg albumen, commonly referred to as egg white. Egg white proteins have the ability to produce foams with the desired volume that are stable when cooked. Heating of egg white proteins promotes protein aggregation by formation of hydrophobic bonds, hydrogen bonds and disulfide bonds. Foaming ability of the egg albumen is dependent on the quality of albumen proteins. Slight contamination of the yolk can alter protein functionality and reduce foaming properties of the egg albumen. As an emulsifier, egg yolks contain lipoproteins and phospholipids that contribute to the formation and stability of food emulsions such as mayonnaise, salad dressings and cake batters. Two of the main phospholipids found in egg yolk are phosphatidylcholine, commonly referred to as lecithin, and phosphatidylserine. Lecithin and lipoproteins are associated with the low-density lipoprotein fraction of egg yolk. In addition to its emulsification properties, the yolk acts as a lipid source in many foods by softening a product's texture.

Additionally, egg yolk adds color, acts as a thickening agent and adds nutrients and flavoring to a variety of foods. Ovalbumin and conalbumin are important proteins which provide coagulation properties. They represent 54% and 13% of the proteins in egg albumen, respectively. Coagulation of albumen begins at approximately 62°C, and the coagulum stops flowing when 65°C is reached. At 70°C, the coagulum is fairly firm, but still tender. As the temperature increases, the coagulum becomes very firm. Much of the change in the coagulum from a semi-solid to solid state is due to an increase in surface hydrophobicity of the proteins. Protein coagulation can be affected by time, temperature, pH, sugar, salt and the presence of other food ingredients such as starch. To date, no other food or combination of ingredients has completely duplicated the properties that eggs contribute to foods.

“Functionality of Eggs in Baked Goods,” Shelly McKee, American Egg Board,;

Advances in Particle Encapsulation

Bakery formulations can be optimized, processes streamlined, ingredient statements reduced and products differentiated with the aid of particle encapsulation, which provides enhanced protection to unstable ingredients and precise delivery and reaction in a food system, explained Kristine Lukasik, PhD, applications manager for Balchem Encapsulates. With the increasing demand for extended shelflife of dough and pre-proofed products comes the need for ingredients that will leaven, even after prolonged frozen storage and freeze/thaw abuse typically encountered in distribution channels.

Encapsulated leavening agents, which are simply added to a formula with its dry ingredients, can supplement yeast activity for in-store bakery products, provide a reliable rise for freezer-to-oven and fresh “take-and-bake” pizzas, and minimize waste from leftover “scoop and bake” frozen and thawed batters. Control of cost-of-goods and the extension of viable shelflife are critical for yield-sensitive products such as tortillas. Encapsulated acidulants, particularly fumaric acid, offer an easy-to-use, effective method of pH control that ensures the efficacy of antimicrobials, without negatively affecting tortilla dough behavior during processing, as raw acids often do. Novel encapsulates with superior performance in baked systems also have been developed in response to newly mandated product labeling requirements and emerging consumer dietary trends.

“Advances in Particle Encapsulation,” Kristine Lukasik, PhD, Balchem Encapsulates,,

Recommended dietary guidelines recently have been updated to include long-chain omega-3s containing eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) commonly found in fish oil, in part due to the fact that coronary heart disease (CHD) remains the number-one killer of Americans (American Heart Association, 2002). Valerie Sanders, food applications scientist, Omega Protein Health and Science Center, discussed health benefits of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids and how these nutrients, when used in combination with other healthy ingredients in baking (such as whole grains and fiber), make a powerful combination that helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. More than 6,000 studies over the past 20-plus years have examined the health benefits of omega-3s—1,000 of which have been clinical trials. The majority of long-term studies were performed using EPA and DHA. A qualified health claim associating the consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids with a possible reduction in the risk of CHD is permitted by the FDA as long as the individual food product contains 13g or less of total fat per reference amount customarily consumed (RACC) per serving size of 50g; 1g or less of saturated fat per RACC and not more than 15% of calories from saturated fat; 20mg or less of cholesterol per RACC and 480mg or less of sodium per RACC.

Food-grade fish oil in liquid or powder form functions well in baked goods, including breads, muffins, buns, pastries, bagels, cookies and pizza dough. These baked goods can be refrigerated or frozen but have a short shelflife and should be well packaged. In terms of handling, fish oil may be refrigerated for short-term storage, although freezing is recommended for longer periods. Protection from factors that induce oxidation—such as extended mix times or long-term exposure to the atmosphere—should be avoided to protect product integrity. Chelators may be added to a mix to retard oxidation, and vitamins and minerals should be encapsulated. Highly refined, deodorized fish oil containing long-chain omega-3s readily mixes into baked goods and adds a healthful incentive for consumers seeking heart-health benefits.

“Long-chain Omega-3 Fish Oils and Baking,” Valerie Sanders, Omega Protein Health and Science Center,,

Functional Properties of Vegetable Proteins

Some of the functional properties of vegetable proteins include dispersibility, solubility, viscosity, foaming, water and fat absorption, gelling and emulsification. Lisa L. Scott, Soy Protein Technologist II of the Ingredient Specialties Division at Archer Daniels Midland Company, discussed these functional properties in relation to food systems. Protein solubility is affected by pH, ionic strength, ionic type, temperature, solvent polarity, and processing conditions which all cause hydrophilic and hydrophobic interactions. Thermal gelation can be described as a protein aggregation phenomenon in which attractive and repulsive forces become balanced and form a well-ordered, tertiary matrix, capable of holding much water. Optimal gel temperatures of soy proteins occur between 75° to 90°C (167° to 194°F).

Soy is an excellent source of protein and contains nine essential amino acids necessary for human nutrition. Its Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acids Score (PDCAAS) of 0.92 to 1.00 is equivalent to dairy, fish and meat protein quality. Soy flour contains 50% protein on a moisture-free basis, and soy protein concentrate and soy protein isolate contain 70% and 90%, respectively. To help control the beaniness, bitterness and astringency associated with soy protein, soy masking agents can be used, including cream or dairy flavors in high-nutrition products such as beverages and nutrition bars.

Wheat gluten is a complex of viscoelastic proteins that can be modified through the use of reducing agents, acids and/or enzymes. Modified glutens include wheat protein isolates, or acid-modified vital wheat gluten used for protein fortification and its functional properties; low-flavor wheat gluten, ideal for highly sensitive flavor systems; fast-hydrating wheat gluten for use when faster hydration is needed to improve mix times; and high-protein vital wheat gluten, which has a lower starch content resulting in higher gluten strength. Wheat proteins are used in meat and bakery applications; as film formers in dough; in pasta systems to enhance extrusion; and in extruded snack systems.

“Functional Properties of Vegetable Proteins in Food Applications,” Lisa L. Scott, Archer Daniels Midland Co.,;