Today’s gluten-free market has defied predictions and sustained its growth worldwide. In fact, researchers predict CAGR of 10.4% through 2020 here with the North American finished products market growing from $4.6 billion in 2015 to $7.6 billion. This market will be driven by the sustained needs of the celiac and gluten-intolerant consumers, as well as growing numbers of full-time and/or part-time gluten-free converts.
Bakery products comprise the largest segment of the gluten-free industry. Just as most gluten-free start-ups have stagnated or closed their doors, the major players have taken the plunge into this market after the earlier years of hesitation. This suggests that the next stage of competition will become more compelling and quality-driven. Superior quality entails the use of better ingredients— rather than simply more ingredients.
American Key Food Products (AKFP) has been active in this market since 2010, when it launched its proprietary premium cassava flour. It has become an increasingly successful, unique gluten-free ingredient that has proven its versatility in baking and snack applications.
AKFP now offers North American customers a new line of premium ingredients: superfine white and brown rice flours from Kumamoto Flour Milling Co. Ltd. Using a proprietary milling process, Kumamoto distinguishes its rice flours from all others in the market. These rice flours are processed from short-grain rice varieties, using exclusively whole rice grains and no broken rice kernels. This helps the rice flours attain the water absorption, viscosity and related functional characteristics necessary in gluten-free baking. Moreover, the starches in short-grain rice varieties have a higher amylopectin content relative to medium- and long-grain rice varieties. This translates to improved shelf life and freeze/thaw stability in baked goods versus medium- and long-grain rice flours.
Kumamoto’s special milling process results in a superfine granulation that allows for 90% of the flour particles in white rice flours to be sized at 70μm or less. Moreover, the particle size distribution is tighter than with most other flours. These factors combine and yield a benefit of higher rise in volume of baked products and a more uniform consistency in the crumb structure. They also contribute to a softer texture in gluten-free baked products.
Finally, Kumamoto’s proprietary technology provides a superfine particle size with only minimal levels of damaged or gelatinized starch. This also contributes to superior texture and crumb structure of baked products. Kumamoto Rice Flours are demonstrably excellent for gluten-free baking, even as the sole flour/starch ingredient. Extensive research and tests have shown that when rice flours were used exclusively as the only flour or starch ingredient in a gluten-free dough mix, Kumamoto’s rice flour outperformed other “superfine” flours in terms of the rise in breads and cakes, the softness of the texture and in the consistency of the crumb structure.
American Key Food Products has been a resource, since 1999, for high quality food ingredients. Today the company offers many gluten-free, clean-label, non-GMO and kosher products, including its proprietary and exclusive premium cassava flour and provides technical assistance on an as-needed basis. Individual product information and access to samples are available through www.akfponline.com.
American Key Food Products
1 Reuten Drive
Closter, N.J. 07624
(877) 263-7539 or (201) 767-8022