woman with red drinkFunctional Fiber, Gluten-Free Bakery

Participants in Prepared Foods’ R&D Applications Seminars discussed the challenges of baking with functional fibers and how to meet the needs of different baking markets. In addition, one speaker addressed three novel nutritional ingredients for enhancing and sustaining energy.

Baking with Benefits

The 21st century brought about a new way of baking, explained Aili Yang, project manager at ZTrim Ingredients, in a Prepared Foods’ R&D Seminar presentation entitled “Baking with Benefits.” Yang said target baking markets now include gluten-free; convenience foods; the foodservice industry (including school/child nutrition); and other applications with functional fibers. While still utilizing flours, enzymes, leaveners, fats and sweeteners, use of functional fibers now defines a new way of baking. Functional fibers can be sourced from such things as corn, oat, citrus, carrot or peas. 
The gluten-free market consists of 21 million Americans who cannot eat or have low tolerance for wheat, with celiac disease affecting at least three million Americans. Gluten-free sales have jumped from approximately one half billion dollars in sales in 2004 to an expected $5 billion in 2015. Gluten-free products include bread, biscuits, crackers, pizza dough, tortillas, breakfast cereal and coating systems. In gluten-free products, functional fibers -- such as corn fiber -- contribute important characteristics. For example, gluten-free biscuits containing corn fiber had significantly more volume than control products. 
The convenience foods market continues to be a gold mine for the baking industry. Data from 2002 indicates that 93% of American consumers own a microwave oven. The global market for microwaveable foods is poised to exceed $104 billion by 2017. Corn, oat and other functional fibers help retain moisture in microwaveable baked products, significantly improving quality.
The foodservice industry, especially child nutrition in school foods, can greatly benefit from corn fiber use in baked goods. Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the last 30 years, and children in the school lunch and breakfast programs typically obtain roughly half of their daily calories at school. Functional fibers used in school foods can help reduce fat, trans fat and even sodium, while increasing fiber and whole grains.
School nutrition standards have increasingly stricter limits on calories, saturated fat, sodium, sugar and trans fat. Often difficult to achieve with limited budgets and picky eaters, school food manufacturers are finding uses for functional fibers. Baked goods, made with corn fiber, showed reduced amounts of calories, fat and sodium, compared to a control, and were well-received by school children. Functional fibers can be used in school foods to improve nutritional values in coatings, breads, pizza crusts, muffins, corn dogs, brownies, cookies and more. 
“Baking with Benefits, ”Aili Yang, Applications, project manager, ZTrim Ingredients, Mundelein, Ill., aili.yang@ztrim.com, www.ztrim.com, 847-549-6002
 -- Summary by Elizabeth Pelofske, Contributing Editor

Functional Fiber in Bakery Product Development

Consumers increasingly place importance on fiber (81%) and whole grains (81%) when making food and beverage purchases, according to data from Harris Interactive and presented by Kornelija Matkovic, Ph.D., senior fiber applications & technology scientist for SunOpta’s Ingredients Group. Further, the “Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010” included dietary fiber as a nutrient of public health concern for adults and children.  
In her presentation given at a Prepared Foods’ R&D Seminar titled “Leveraging the Functional Attributes of Fiber in Bakery Product Development,” an overview was provided as to the functional reasons for adding fiber to bakery products. These include: to prolong the freshness of bread; reduce moisture loss; help to develop crispy crust of bread; reduce breakage and cracking in flat bread and pizza crust; and improve product yield and quality of frozen dough products. 
Not all dietary fibers are created equally. Much is known about the use of dietary fiber for fiber fortification, but not that much is known about its functionality.
Insoluble fibers, such as oat fibers, are multi-dimensional and are available in different “shapes and sizes.” 
Fibers yield different behaviors in dough, including water absorption, hydration dynamics, mixing requirements, competitiveness for water, etc.  For example, a longer mixing time on low speed may be necessary to enable hydration of fiber and other dough constituents. 
Insoluble fiber can provide many positive characteristics. Insoluble fiber can improve the quality of frozen baked goods; provide moisture and fat management in filled baked goods; reduce cracking in fragile baked goods; reduce staling rate of fresh baked products; and help to maintain structure and integrity in baked goods. It also can help to enhance crunchiness in products held under heat lamps, such as fried flatbread, and maintain product crispness following microwaving. 
Dr. Matkovic emphasized that including 1-5% insoluble oat fiber can provide net cost savings and improve customer satisfaction. Using insoluble oat fiber allows a company to replace some expensive ingredients and can result in (as examples): reduction of bulk density and increase in volume in muffins, waffles and pasta; reduction of breakage, cracking or tearing of baked products (a 1-5% inclusion can reduce breakage by 10-50%); and extension of shelflife, resulting in reduced texture deterioration and bakery product returns. Oat fiber also results in a clean and desirable label.
A multiple-fiber approach may be necessary to achieve very high levels of total dietary fiber (TDF) in bakery applications. A good balance of insoluble and soluble fibers is necessary for proper water absorption and mixing characteristics of dough. Levels as high as 9g TDF in a 50g serving of bread can be achieved, providing 36% of the daily recommended value of fiber in one serving of bread.  This also can result in good sensory properties, good balance of crumb softness and resilience, as well as excellent nutritional properties. 
Fiber and whole grains can complement each other in baked goods, but formulation requires a good understanding of hydration properties of grains and fiber to achieve the optimum dough consistency. 
Longer low-speed mixing often is necessary to allow proper hydration of some grain ingredients.  Shorter high-speed mixing, resulting in slightly underdeveloped dough, may be necessary in order to prevent over-mixing of dough, because whole-grain dough often has low mixing tolerance. Choosing a fiber with low/medium water absorption (1.1–1.4g water/g fiber) may be necessary to achieve both high whole-grain and high fiber content in the final product. 
In conclusion, consumers are seeking additional dietary fiber for healthy diets. Insoluble fiber can be used to produce nutritionally superior bakery products, as well as to improve the texture of healthy foods. Working with the proper fiber ingredients is critical to achieve optimum results -- for both the company and, ultimately, the consumer. 
“Leveraging the Functional Attributes of Fiber in Bakery Product Development,” Kornelija Matkovic, Ph.D., senior fiber applications & technology scientist, SunOpta Ingredients Group, 763-689-7512, kornelija.matkovic@sunopta.com, www.sunopta.com 
--Summary by Kelley Fitzpatrick, Contributing Editor