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Finding the Best Replacement for Eggs (Baking Business)

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Finding the Best Replacement for Eggs

(Donna Berry)

Many baked goods rely on proteins to develop structure and height. For simple products such as bread and buns, the gluten from wheat typically suffices. Sweet goods, on the other hand, contain heavy ingredients such as sugar, shortening and inclusions like chocolate, fruit and nuts. This is too much for a gluten matrix to handle on its own, and that’s where egg proteins enter the equation.

“Eggs are a very complex source of fats and proteins that can be used in hundreds of applications,” said Mindi McKibbin, director of research and development, Rembrandt Enterprises, Inc.

Egg products are dried, frozen or liquid forms of whole eggs, whites only or yolks only. Sometimes these formats include additional ingredients to improve functionality, expand applications or even provide cost savings.

Eggs also provide more than 20 desirable functions ranging from foaming to ingredient binding to thickening. No single replacement ingredient can perform all the same functions as eggs.

“Besides for nutritive value, egg ingredients provide important functional properties to baked goods,” said Bill Gilbert, principal food technologist, Cargill. “It’s impossible to replace eggs with any single ingredient and still provide similar nutrition and function. Yet, some bakers prefer formulating vegan and seek out replacers. Economics is also another consideration.”

The good news for bakers is that the egg supply currently is abundant and pricing attractive. This is also true for cage-free eggs, where players in the natural foods space tend to gravitate.

That said, there are real reasons why bakers might prefer egg replacers or at least have formulations on hand that replace some or all eggs with other functional ingredients. One reason for replacing eggs is to remove a common allergen from the recipe. Another is that eggs and egg products have had numerous supply and demand challenges over the years, and it’s always better to be prepared than be scrambling.

Eggs can impart richer flavor and softer texture to artisan breads and are a challenge to replace in these formulations.

First came the egg

Traditionally formulated baked foods, especially sweet goods, rely on eggs for a long list of sensory attributes. This has been shown in an extensive body of research recently conducted by independent third-party firm CuliNex L.L.C.

The research details both the analytical and slightly more subjective sensory results of experiments comparing eggs with egg replacers in a variety of applications. Most, if not all, of the applications tested relied on the functionality of eggs or egg replacers for appearance, texture, mouthfeel and taste. Certain pie fillings, for example, need eggs or egg replacers with similar functionality for optimal eating quality. The changes to pie fillings with reduced egg content were noticeable, according to the researchers.

Angel food cake is another example. This highly aerated product obtains its color, rise, texture and flavor from eggs. When they are removed or replaced in angel food cake, the batter’s specific gravity, appearance, height and flavor are negatively affected, according to the study.

CuliNex tested baked goods, including sponge cake, yellow batter cake, muffins, sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, cheesecake, brownies, sweet dough and frozen waffles, all of which rely on eggs for similar characteristics.

Elisa Maloberti, director of egg product marketing, American Egg Board, said some types of applications rely more on eggs than others.

“When a product relies upon a higher percentage of eggs for its functional and organoleptic characteristics, it will suffer a greater impact when eggs are removed,” she said.

In cheesecake, for example, the standard is 12.5% whole eggs, Ms. Maloberti said. For sugar cookies, it’s about 3.8%.

“When the research team tested eggs versus various replacement products in cheesecake,” she said, “they reported that ‘except for water activity, all areas of cake quality were negatively affected, especially flavor and texture.’”

With sugar cookies, when eggs were replaced or removed the difference was recorded as “slight but noticeable,” the study, sponsored by the American Egg Board, found. Areas most negatively affected in sugar cookies included the color/appearance, aroma, flavor and texture.

“Consistently throughout most of the study, researchers found that tasters unanimously preferred the control, or gold standard formula made with eggs, to the test formulas,” Ms. Maloberti said.

Some bakers do use eggs in artisan and specialty bread formulas, as they contribute to a richer flavor and softer texture. Use is, however, usually cost-prohibitive due to price fluctuations in standard white pan bread and buns.

Some of the physical functions eggs perform in baked goods are aeration, binding, emulsifying and dough strengthening. They also assist with maintaining moistness and, thereby, extend shelf life. Depending on the egg ingredient used, color and flavor also may be influenced. When identifying a replacer, it is critical to know what functions the ingredient must perform.

Eggs can impart richer flavor and softer texture to artisan breads and are a challenge to replace in these formulations.

Cracking egg chemistry

The egg yolk and white contribute very different characteristics to baked goods, and understanding how they work is key to finding potential replacers.

“The egg white is the main component in strengthening, as it contains a majority of the protein in the egg,” said David Guilfoyle, group manager bakery, fats and oils, DuPont Nutrition & Health.

Albumin is the egg white’s primary protein source, and upon heating, the albumin structure denatures to create a special gel strength that most other proteins do not have. This strength is important, especially in cakes, as the batter is heated, the volume increases, and the aerated albumin gel structure begins to denature and the leavened structure is set.

“Potato isolate protein and milk whey without lactose are two ingredients that have nearly similar gel strength to egg,” Mr. Guilfoyle said. “Other proteins set too quickly, creating a dense structure, or begin to collapse due to the weight of the ingredients in the formulation before the structure can be set.”

Eggs whites are also the powerhouse behind aeration, or creating foams. As the egg white is whipped, air gets trapped within the albumin, which stretches out with protein-coated air cells that become stable enough to hold the heavy ingredients.

“As the foam is heated, the protein-coated air cells expand and the structure lifts, and upon reaching a certain temperature, the foam structure sets and holds the bound ingredients in place,” Mr. Guilfoyle said. “We offer various hydrocolloids that can aerate similarly to egg whites.”

The egg yolk contains the emulsifier component lecithin, which allows water and oil to become miscible, creating either an oil-in-water or water-in-oil emulsification. If this is the function that needs replacing, it is possible to source lecithin from plants such as soybean or sunflower.

“They are all equally as functional as the lecithin from egg,” Mr. Guilfoyle said.

Natural Products, Inc., manufactures soy-based egg and milk replacement systems, which tend to be hydrophilic, even more so than eggs. Jon Stratford, sales and marketing manager, Natural Products, said the company’s egg replacers are formulated to replace whole egg powder at a 1:1 ratio.

“However, because the soy tends to bind so much water, it is not uncommon for our customers to find they need to reduce our product slightly, versus the quantity of eggs that were being used, to avoid having to add more water to their formulation,” Mr. Stratford said. “On the other hand, in some cases, it might be an advantage to add a bit more water, as that can improve the shelf life of fresh-baked products.”

The water-binding attribute dictates the most suitable applications.

“Our egg replacers also provide emulsification,” Mr. Stratford said. “Applications where eggs mainly provide emulsification tend to work best with our egg replacers.”

Egg replacers can affect the moisture content of products, offering several advantages including shelf life.

Hatching a replacement plan

In real-world applications, the allergenic nature of egg and dairy ingredients can be a hurdle for some manufacturers according to a story about a hamburger bun as told by Mr. Guilfoyle.

“At the time, brioche was coming in as a ‘new’ style of bread, and the restaurant chain wanted to have a signature bun that was brioche-style,” Mr. Guilfoyle explained. “Brioche is high in egg and dairy [butter and milk] and very expensive. The various high-speed bakeries supporting the restaurant chain refused to put any formula in their production that contained the egg and dairy allergens. This created some issues.”

Understanding the functionality of eggs and dairy in bread, Mr. Guilfoyle was able to reformulate with ingredients that provided the mouthfeel and flavor of a brioche-style bun without using the eggs or dairy products. Alginates provided the mouthfeel component, and they also gave the finished baked crumb structure strength to hold up to the heavily loaded burger and condiments. When alginates are added at 0.10% to 0.20% (baker’s per cent), they provide strength and volume to baked goods.

Artisan bread varieties are some of the more challenging products in which to replace eggs.

“It’s easiest to find solutions for products like cookies, pancakes and muffins, where eggs are less critical to the finished product,” Mr. Gilbert said. “In other product applications, where eggs are critical to functions like aeration and structure, Cargill has developed functional systems that mimic the different aspects of eggs.”

These functional systems may provide cost savings by replacing up to 50% of the eggs in the formula, often with little or no additional changes required. For example, modified starches mimic the processing and emulsifying properties of eggs, providing essential structure and texture in cookies, pancakes and muffins.

“Modified starch is especially suited for replacing up to 25% of liquid whole eggs in cakes and pound cakes, 50% in muffins, 50% to 100% in pancakes, and 50% of egg solids in cookies,” Mr. Gilbert said. “Soy flour can be used to replace 25% of liquid whole eggs in muffins, and 25% to 50% in both cookies and pancakes. Soy flour helps maintain moisture and acts as a fat mimetic.”

Cargill works with bakers to create customized texturizing systems for egg replacement. In addition to modified starch and soy flour, other ingredients used in the systems include lecithin, mono- and diglycerides, potato protein and carrageenan.

Fiberstar, Inc. offers a citrus fiber with high pectin content that functions as an egg replacer. The added benefit is that it also contributes fiber to the formula. Kurt Villwock, director of R&D, Fiberstar, said citrus fiber contains both soluble (pectin) and insoluble fiber and is made using a patented process that opens the fiber structure to create high surface area.

“This fibrous composition tightly entraps and locks in water molecules and oil droplets, providing high-water holding and emulsification properties,” Mr. Villwock said.

Citrus fiber typically is used to extend eggs rather than fully replace them. It works best in muffins, layer cakes and cookies. Combined with other hydrocolloids, it can work synergistically to replace the whole egg in gluten-free muffins and cakes.

Addition of as little as 0.2% citrus fiber can compensate for the removal of eggs in a waffle or crepe. It is simply dry blended with the flour, and the product is dosed and cooked in the same manner as a conventional full-egg product.

“The nice thing about using citrus fiber in an egg replacement strategy is that it provides a nice mouthfeel that, in a mixture, complements other ingredients that might otherwise cause textural defects,” Mr. Villwock said. “Citrus fiber also increases the cohesiveness of doughs, which is beneficial for machinability.”

A number of citrus fibers serve as egg extenders on the market. They vary in the way they are processed and their final composition, which in turn influences functionality and labeling claims. Citrus fiber is perceived to be clean label and is acceptable in ingredient statements, especially in baked goods containing fruit bases.

Nigel Weston, vice-president, R&D, J&K Ingredients, said egg replacers allow bakers to control their ingredient costs over the long term.

“Eggs are currently very inexpensive, but traditionally they are amongst the most expensive ingredients in baked goods,” he said.

Cost savings, risk management and reliability of supply are some of the biggest benefits associated with egg replacers. In recent years, egg prices have been highly volatile. In 2014, albumen prices spiked to $17 per lb. One year later, the 2015 avian influenza crisis drove egg prices up to $20 per lb.

However, even in a stable price market, Mr. Gilbert said Cargill customers confirm that the savings associated with egg replacement solutions are significant. Bakers must weigh the functional benefits of eggs and the quality they impart on finished products vs. the potential cost savings in formulation.

Citrus, an All Natural Fibre Solution (Asia Pacific Food Industry)

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Citrus, an All Natural Fibre Solution (Asia Pacific Food Industry) 

We don’t like to admit it, but sometimes nature outsmarts us humans. Such is the case with citrus fibre, where the intact natural architecture of the fruit cells provides developers with multiple gainful functionalities. Clean label solutions need not be so difficult if one embraces the natural complexity. By Dr Kurt Villwock, director of product development, Fiberstar incorporated

Due to the broad definition of fibre as a substance that resists digestion by the upper human digestive system, a wide variety of fibres with different functionalities are available for use as ingredients. They can exist in purified form, like inulin or fructooligosaccharide (FOS), or be left in its natural botanical form, such as wheat bran or citrus fibre, or perhaps even partially purified.

They can be soluble or insoluble, and quite often they exist in that transition area of solubility known as a colloidal phase, like ?-glucan from oats and barley. Many pure fibre types are large polymers of sugars, such as guar gum or acacia, and some are substantially smaller such as resistant maltodextrins and fructans.

Fibre’s Health Benefits & Applications

The health benefits of fibre are multifold, but also vary somewhat based on the physio-chemical properties of the fibre, including both the composition and the structural form. Some acknowledged nutritional benefits include: promoting satiety, intestinal bulking, enhancing immune health by promoting growth of beneficial bacteria in the large intestine, the production of short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) that improve the health of the digestive lining, and increased bioavailability of micronutrients.

It is interesting that the natural form of a fibre impacts the way it is fermented in the gut. For example, resistant starches have plenty of exposure to amylases throughout the digestive track yet they avoid direct contact with the active sites of enzymes by making tight crystalline regions or by surrounding itself with a tight protein matrix.

Another example is pectin. Purified pectin is often reported to result in large amounts of acetate after fermentation in the gut, yet pectin-rich fruit pulps have a SCFA profile that often includes much more propionic and butyric acid.

Fibres are commonly used in various food products including but not limited to bakery, frozen foods, dairy, meats, sauces and beverages. In a beverage system, fibres are most commonly added to either boost the nutritional profile of the product, or to add texture, thickness or bulking to a beverage.

Even dissolved fibres like FOS can enhance the mouthfeel of a beverage to give it some body. Since many fibres are polymeric in nature, their properties are influenced by other beverage conditions such as the sugar content, salt content, acidity, available water, and presence of other fibres.

Going Beyond Cellulose—Citrus Fibre

Citrus fibre contains cellulose and hemicellulose in addition to the native pectin present in orange pulp. The cellulose and hemicellulose act as the backbone of the fibre. This structure forms a very cotton ball-like fibre with the pectin and cellulosics intertwined. This gives the fibre a unique mouthfeel.

The fibre drags across the tongue which can give a creamy texture to milky coffee beverages or with a larger grind size, can give a pulpy texture. The pulp extension can help formulators extend expensive fruit pulp without modifying or changing the mouthfeel of the beverage. It can also extend tomato solids in tomato-based sauces.

Conventional cellulose fibres more often come from dried grains and fibrous plants, which when compared to fruit fibres, often do not have the natural botanical architecture optimised for holding bulk water tightly.

As one might suspect from its name, citrus fibre itself is a good source of dietary fibre (comprising) 70-80 percent. It has been shown to be bifidogenic, meaning that it selectively promotes growth of health-associated Bifidobacterium at the expensive of less desirable bacteria species.

The quality of the citrus fibre depends somewhat on the source of the fibre material. Whole citrus fibre is taken as it is from the pulp or peel of a citrus fruit and is ideally not further processed beyond drying to a powder. Such citrus fibres are usually obtained from excess material in the juice industry and contribute to a very clean label.

This type of fibre has higher levels of soluble fibre, namely pectin. Some citrus fibre is generated from the process of purifying pectin as a separate ingredient so this type of citrus fibre has a much higher proportion of insoluble fibre, namely cellulose and hemicellulose.

Despite the high dietary fibre content, citrus fibre is rarely used at levels above one percent in food products. This is due to its high water holding capacity. High amounts of citrus fibre would eventually cause textural defects because it outcompetes many other ingredients for water.

Nonetheless, citrus fibre can be a valuable tool in high fibre foods and beverages as a complementary fibre that improves the palatability of the food by addressing common problems associated with health foods, such as lack of moistness and mouthfeel.

A Natural Solution With Many Benefits

Whole citrus fibre that has not been chemically modified or stripped of its pectin has many functional properties that make it a great tool for formulators. This fibre is comprised of natural pectin, cellulose and hemicellulose and some residual protein. This chemical make-up of the slightly hydrophobic pectin, plus the physical cellulose framed structure of the fibre, make it able to hold onto not only water, but fats and oil too.

When the particles have been roughened by mechanical input, citrus fibre becomes more porous with a greater surface area which, in turn, makes it a great oil and water binder. Therefore, if you have both oil and water on the same particle, you have succeeded in making a natural emulsion.

In the Asian market, there are emulsion beverages such as milk tea and coconut milk drinks. These will often use chemical emulsifiers such as DMG, and sometimes if there is no hydrophilic-lipophilic balance (HLB), separation will occur after processing.

The strong water holding capacity of citrus fibre makes it a useful tool for preventing freeze/thaw damage to frozen food products. The robust cellulose scaffolding also makes it thermally stable; it will not thin out or break down at high temperatures. These properties make it a great addition to meat products to retain water and fat for juicier meatballs and sausages. They can also help with moisture retention of meat fillings in steamed buns or dim sum type products.

The emulsification and water binding properties also make it a great addition to baked goods where it will help delay staling defects and extend the soft fresh texture over a longer shelf-life. These properties also make it a great addition to sauces where emulsification is desired without the use of chemical emulsifiers.

Using Citrus Fibre In Fruit-Based & Dairy Applications

Due to its natural pectin content, citrus fibres can form gels in high acid, high brix applications like fruit preparations for yoghurt, bakery or spreads. Citrus fibre can replace or extend pectin where it is traditionally used.

Whole citrus fibre contains about 40 percent pectin, so in order to reach gelling conditions, one would need to use roughly twice as much citrus fibre as would be used with pure pectin. Despite this, the ingredient cost in use is often cheaper and arguably provides a cleaner label. The different grind sizes available can also permit the formulator to choose a fine or pulpy texture to suit the target application.

Citrus fibre can help control syneresis in cultured dairy products as well. Low levels of citrus fibre can add a creamy texture to yogurt products and help control syneresis in fresh cheeses such as cream cheese. Citrus fibre can increase yields and help manufacturers make the most of the water and fat in the system.

Working with whole citrus fibre is similar to working with other hydrocolloids. Dispersion and hydration are key to their functionality. For most applications, it is recommended to disperse citrus fibre with other dry ingredients and then add the liquids. For applications where an emulsion is desired, it is recommended to disperse the citrus fibre in oil, before adding the other liquids and shearing to form a stable emulsion.

While high shear is not necessary, it can help accelerate hydration and emulsification. In intermediate moisture foods, additions of small amounts of water may be needed to prevent the citrus fibre from outcompeting other ingredients for water, thus avoiding corresponding textural defects.

JOB OPPORTUNITY: Research Chemist, Scientist or Engineer Position

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Come Work for a Fast Growing, Global Food Ingredient Company!!!

Position:  Research Chemist, Scientist or Engineer Opportunity
Location:  River Falls, WI
R&D Chemist Job Description 2017

Company Brief:

Fiberstar, Inc. is a growing company that sells and manufactures functional clean label food ingredients and is looking for a R&D Chemist, Scientist, or Engineer to lead its new product development efforts. The employee will have responsibilities for ensuring the company meets its objectives for developing new product properties of citrus fiber based ingredients.  While the materials are citrus fibers based, they contain native pectin and have many functional properties, which is why experience working with hydrocolloids is beneficial. To accomplish the new product goals, the employee will need to perform research and work closely with team members to coordinate and work hands-on to facilitate research projects both in-house and work with research partners.  One of the key research partners will be the University of Minnesota. An advanced degree is preferred but not required and a preferred candidate will have 4+ years experience working with hydrocolloids and emulsifiers in a wide variety of food and beverage applications.  Great opportunity to develop new ingredients and to grow with a small company that is well-positioned for continued growth in the marketplace.  For more information on Fiberstar please visit our website at fiberstar.net.

Job Description:

  • Design experiments, research best practices, and develop a plan for new process testing.
  • Perform laboratory and pilot plant testing to develop process & measurement techniques for targeted properties. Work with team members on application testing with the new product properties.
  • Assist with scale-up and full-scale production equipment testing to transfer laboratory findings to pilot and full scale manufacturing.
  • Prepare of technical reports, written process guidelines, and presentations.
  • Work closely with engineering team to transfer knowledge and assist with scale-up and manufacturing.
  • Coordinates and/or attends weekly cross functional team meetings with R&D, Marketing personnel and others to discuss projects and associated timelines, goals and objectives.
  • Partner with Sales, Manufacturing, Operations and vendors to coordinate plant trial production processes and inclusive of scheduling and material (ingredients, packaging etc.) delivery logistics.
  • Travel to partner research facilities and attend live plant trials as needed.
  • Collaborates with Quality Assurance to ensure food safety, SQF and HACCP program requirements are met and to provide product specifications and other related information.
  • Learns the various manufacturing equipment capabilities associated with the processes for which products may be developed.
  • Maintains ongoing research and knowledge of technical service developments inclusive of potential opportunities for new products and new developments within the industry.
  • Partners with co-manufacturers and internal facilities to troubleshoot or optimize product formulations and production efficiencies.
  • Engages academia and trade associations (etc) to promote innovation from external resources.
  • Assist in regulatory affairs to obtain necessary approvals for products, and manage lab environmental, health, and safety reporting requirements.
  • Communicate technical results both verbally and written to team members, customers, and sales people. Assist in writing technical proposals, including grant proposals.

Preferred Qualifications:

Preferred candidates would have 4+ years work experience with a background working with hydrocolloids and emulsifiers.   BS, MS, or PhD in Chemistry, Food Science, Food Engineering, or similar.  Excellent written and verbal communication skills required.

In Return:

  • A base salary to commensurate with experience.
  • Benefits package – medical insurance, flex-plan, & 401(k)
  • Great opportunity to grow with a small company that is well-positioned for continued growth in the marketplace.

Contact:

Brock Lundberg, PhD, Email:  b.lundberg@fiberstar.net

State of the Industry 2017: Desserts still hit the sweet spot for consumers (Snackfood & Wholesale Bakery)

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(Melissa Kvidahl)

Datassential reports that nine out of 10 restaurants in America serve dessert, with the top five menu items being cake, ice cream, cheesecake, cookies  and pies (in that order). And while most demographics are either eating the same amount or decreasing their consumption of desserts, millennials are more likely to say they’re increasing their consumption.

When it comes to packaged options, restaurant trends are trickling down and impacting sales. “Research shows that consumers are most likely to try a new food trend in a restaurant and then look for a way to bring their experience home by shopping that trend at the grocery store,” explains Doon Wintz, president, Wholly Wholesome, Chester, NJ.

Market data

According to IRI, Chicago, sales of desserts at retail are healthy. The pies and cakes segment was up 5.3 percent for the 52 weeks ending March 19, 2017, hitting $1.9 billion. When broken into segments, cakes were up 4.4 percent to $1.5 billion, while dollar sales of pies climbed 8.2 percent to $442.5 million. Private label leads both segments by a wide margin.

In fact, the only segment where private label doesn’t have a strong top position is in frozen pies, where it holds the No. 4 spot.

According to the IRI data, more shoppers might be opting for fresh vs. frozen options. Frozen pie dollar sales dropped 3.20 percent to $516.0 million. The same pattern surfaced in cheesecakes, with frozen cheesecake sales dropping 12.83 percent to $123.0 million, while dollar sales of refrigerated cheesecakes increased 16.40 percent to $277.2 million.

Refrigerated cakes and pies is a minor segment, but both showed growth over the past year. Sales of refrigerated cakes grew 5.46 percent to reach $130.4 million. Dollar sales of refrigerated pies rose 4.90 percent to $31.5 million.

Wintz notes that some growth within the desserts category is in the better-for-you niche. “This includes organic, allergy-friendly, vegan, and/or low-sugar—particularly products that are naturally low in sugar, rather than those sweetened artificially,” he says.

Looking back

Though a traditionally decadent and indulgent category, desserts are not exempt from the clean label trend affecting nearly every facet of the food industry. Whether it’s nutrition or transparency, simple ingredients or gluten-free, clean label is one consumer demand that’s not going anywhere.

And that could be a challenge for some brands, says Kurt Villwock, director of research and development, Fiberstar, Inc., River Falls, WI. “Depending on the customer’s clean label definition, it could mean using kitchen cupboard ingredients, reducing the number of ingredients in a statement, and/or removing allergenic components.” It could also mean reducing negatively perceived product aspects such as calories, saturated fat or added sugars to improve the dessert’s impact on health.

Villwock says that ingredient options for water-binding, thickening or emulsifying functionalities in desserts are diminishing as the definition of clean label gets more expansive and inclusive. In response, Fiberstar offers Citri-Fi, a line of natural citrus fibers that is a clean label alternative to pure pectin for jam and jelly fillings, and also provides high water-holding capacity and emulsification properties.

Eli’s Cheesecake Co. has a clean label for its No. 1 seller, Eli’s Original Plain Cheesecake, made with cultured cream cheese, cultured sour cream, Madagascar bourbon vanilla, butter, eggs and sugar. It has also introduced GMO-free ingredients into its portfolio, including those that appear in its Cookie Butter Cheesecake and miniature pies. Non-dairy cheesecakes appeal to the vegan or allergy-sensitive audience, and are made with tofu.

“There has been a continued movement to marry the concept of nutrition and foods that normally would not be associated with nutrition,” comments Wintz, “whether that means fortifying a dessert with antioxidants or incorporating an ingredient as apparently nutritious as an açaí or goji berry. Protein and probiotics, as well, have entered the dessert category, making it much less of a ‘health sacrifice’ in the eyes of health-minded consumers.”

One other way consumers are taking a healthier approach to dessert is through smaller serving sizes, and miniature or single-serve options remained popular over the past year. Sara Lee, a Hillshire Brands business, introduced single-serve cheesecake slices to its portfolio in January 2016, and Portland Style Cheesecake and Dessert Co. launched miniature 3-inch cheesecakes and cakes in the same month. Sara Lee grew its refrigerated cheesecake business by 254.19 percent to $3.1 million.

The Father’s Table also offers single-serving and reduced-size cheesecake products. In refrigerated cheesecakes, The Father’s Table is the No. 2 company in the segment, and was up 3.62 percent for the year to $53.5 million.

Lance Aasness, executive vice president of Hinds-Bock Corporation, Bothell, WA, has noticed manufacturers getting creative in this area, offering dessert shots or desserts on a stick (think small cheesecake slices dipped in chocolate ganache and served semi-frozen) to meet demand. To meet the mini trend, the company offers a dual servo orbiting multi-piston high speed depositing system, which can run 2,700 miniature products per minute.

Colborne Foodbotics, Lake Forest, IL, has also introduced new equipment to help manufacturers produce single-serve desserts, “through special conveyor technology combined with our proprietary depositor designs,” says Rick Hoskins, president.

At Eli’s, new introductions to meet this demand include Mini Pies and Cheesecake Cuties, measuring 1.7 oz. and 1-inch-square, respectively, which Debbie Marchok, vice president of marketing, says “allows the consumer to ‘treat themselves’ to an indulgent dessert with portion control.”

Looking forward

Going forward, there are two distinct areas of opportunity.

The first takes the clean label trend and expands upon it, including transparency at all levels. Aasness believes that manufacturers are wise to get back to basics with their ingredients, so there’s truly nothing to hide on the label. “By that I mean less-processed, full-flavor ingredients, real butter, real cream, unrefined sugar, unrefined flowers and fewer GMO ingredients,” he said, “just like you see in many parts of Europe.”

But it doesn’t end on the label. Wintz believes companies that show clean production practices, as well, will find success. A farm-to-fork approach will be favored, he adds. “For companies dedicated to true transparency and an open dialogue with consumers, offering an immersive look at their company, their brand and its products is certainly a progressive next step.”

The second area of opportunity concerns flavors. While Datassential reports that the top growing flavors in desserts are still sweet favorites like Nutella, marshmallow, red velvet and butterscotch, the consumers of tomorrow will be captured not by the familiar, but by the exotic.

“Ethnic flavors are more common now on menus, and these influence the retail products as consumers would like to experience the same flavors and textures at home,” says Carlos Fajardo, technical business development manager, Palsgaard, Morris Plains, NJ.

Eli’s is incorporating such trends with savory, southern and ethnic flavors in desserts, such as Salted Caramel Cheesecake, Blackberry Sour Cream Cheesecake and Honey Almond Cheesecake, drawing inspiration from eastern Mediterranean flavors. And, of course, a vibrant and fun category like desserts can capitalize on one hot trend, says Marchok: “Unicorn everything. Colorful desserts will reign in 2017.”

Functional ingredients provide benefits, solve clean-label challenges (Snackfood & Wholesale Bakery)

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Functional ingredients provide benefits, solve clean-label challenges (Snackfood & Wholesale Bakery)
(Maxine Weber)

Formulating products with the ever-increasing demands of today’s marketplace is no easy task. Consumers are seeking clean, clear labels and simplified ingredients. Simultaneously, customers are seeking improved sustainability and cost efficiency in the form of less waste and better inventory control—and requiring products with longer shelf life. Still, pressure to maintain cost structure requires equal or better runnability on the line.

It’s extremely difficult to meet all of these consumer and customer demands and still maintain good eating quality with a reasonable cost structure. But it’s possible with today’s range of available, hardworking functional ingredients like enzymes, fats and emulsifiers, dough conditioners, natural preservatives, and more.

Enzymatic improvements

Enzymes provide a multitude of benefits; it’s hard to imagine any baked good that does not rely on enzymatic reactions. They’re responsible for everything from conditioning the dough, to improving the rise, contributing to crumb structure to color development. “All traditional bread-making processes nowadays are unthinkable without the use of enzymes,” says Ralf Neumann, custom solutions director, AB Enzymes, Darmstadt, Germany.

Neumann notes his customers use VERON GMS+ to replace or reduce monoglycerides in yeast-raised baked goods like white pan bread or hamburger buns. VERON GMS+ achieves the same crumb texture properties (softness, resiliency, texture) as monoglycerides, but is more cost-efficient, he says. “And, as a fermented enzyme, VERON GMS+ has a lower carbon footprint than traditional emulsifiers, so it also meets the increasing market demand for sustainability.”

Kathy Sargent, market director of bakery, Corbion, Lenexa, KS, notes that bagels have become increasingly popular with millennials. “With the rise of snacking occasions, consumers are buying bagels in increasing numbers and enjoying them beyond breakfast,” she says. Baked good require peak freshness, which the Ultra Fresh portfolio of enzymes helps bakers attain. “These are enzyme blends specifically designed to extend shelf life while protecting the quality of baked goods,” she says. The enzymes offer a variety of solutions for increased moistness, resilience and softness. “They are versatile and can be used to protect the quality and freshness of bread, buns, bagels, tortillas and flatbreads.”

When it comes to crackers, process optimization is an important concern. Christopher Limmex, technical sales manager, enzymes, Kerry, Beloit, WI, suggests Biobake Flex: “Our Biobake Flex enzyme delivers flexibility to cracker manufacturers in terms of floor time and processing. Decreasing floor time allows for decreased waste and re-work in the event of unexpected downtime. In addition, this product improves the extensibility and sheeting characteristics of the cracker dough while controlling product size and shape by preventing oven shrinkage. It delivers on three pillars of the snack and bakery industry: clean label, process efficiency and product quality.”

Linda Dunning, product manager, systems and texturants, DuPont Nutrition & Health, St. Louis, observes that clean-label efforts mean something different to each food and beverage company, so solutions are rarely one-size-fits-all. She notes that the GRINSTED Freedom range features tailored ingredient systems designed to replace the volume and strength lost when traditional ingredients are removed. “The blends contain an optimized ratio of ingredients, including locust bean gum, SOLEC lecithin and enzymes.” She notes that by replacing lost functionality, GRINSTED Freedom helps reduce production issues, leading to cost savings in bakeries.

Ingredient systems from Delavau Food Partners, Philadelphia inhibit mold and extend shelf life extension, as well as improve doughs. Angie Singer, director of sales and marketing, says: “Customers look at Delavau Food Partners for clean-label ways to improve the eating experience and shelf life of baked goods and snacks. Our recently expanded line of Encore ingredients—Encore Fresh, Encore Plus, Encore Strong, Encore Relax—deliver extended-shelf-life and dough-conditioning solutions that place nothing more than enzymes, ascorbic acid, fibers and gums on the ingredient statement.”

Achieving a cleaner label involves significant technical work. “We spent two years testing and validating a simple solution using premium lecithin products and enzymes to replace four problematic ingredients—azodicarbonamide (ADA), sodium stearoyl lactylate (SSL), DATEM (diacetyl tartaric acid esters of mono and diglycerides) and monoglycerides,” says Bill Gilbert, Certified Master Baker and principal food technologist, Cargill, Minneapolis. “In the end, we were able to eliminate the entire dough-conditioning package. Our testing confirms that all three of our premium lecithin options—soy, sunflower and now canola—are equally effective at replacing these dough conditioners. Our new canola lecithin offers some distinct advantages: label-friendly, non-allergenic, non-GMO and an affordable price.”

Clean-label stability also comes in the form of antioxidants. Removing preservatives can significantly impact product sensory attributes—particularly related to degradation of fats and oils—impacting shelf life. Kemin, Des Moines, IA, offers a line of oil-soluble green tea extracts, called GT-FORT.  “These extracts have antioxidant properties that can be used as naturally sourced, clean-label alternatives, replacing conventional synthetic antioxidants such as TBHQ,” says Courtney Schwartz, marketing communications manager.

Better shortenings and oils

Oil, a necessity for frying and other snack and bakery functions, can contribute negatively to a food’s nutritional profile—and traditionally contained preservatives to reduce rancidity. But oil processors are finding ways to modify their products to overcome potential drawbacks.

Mark Stavro, director of marketing, Bunge, St. Louis, discusses the new Whole Harvest line. “This oil is a high-performance, non-GMO sunflower oil and offers the functional benefits of extended fry life and extended shelf life for foodservice and food processing customers. Because it is non-GMO and expeller-pressed, it is more sustainable and gentler on the earth than conventional extraction methods.” He notes that Bunge also offers PhtyoBake shortening, which allows formulators to replace saturated fat with phytosterols, offering up to 50 percent less saturated fat than palm oil.

“According to an IRI Snacking Survey, 56 percent of consumers said ‘no artificial preservatives or additives’ is the top claim consumers are looking for,” notes Mary LaGuardia, marketing manager, Dow AgroSciences, Indianapolis, which offers an oil with an improved fatty acid profile—and a clean label: Omega-9 Canola Oil.

LaGuardia explains that Omega-9 Canola is high in oleic and low in linoleic acids, and it is naturally stable, which eliminates the need for partial hydrogenation—and that means zero trans fat. And, it is also low in saturated fat in comparison to other frying oils. “Through traditional plant breeding, researchers were able to develop an improved fatty acid profile that also offers superior performance. Omega-9 Canola is versatile, cost-effective and naturally stable. It enables the food industry to reduce ‘bad’ fats and increase the ‘good’ fats, without compromising food taste, oil functionality or performance.”

Several different snack and bakery applications, including icings, call for shortening, and the soybean industry offers a drop-in replacement for partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs). Frank Flider, edible oils consultant, Qualisoy, Chesterfield, MO, notes the considerable amount of testing done on enzymatically interesterified (EIE) high-oleic soybean oil shortening. “EIE high-oleic soybean oil shortening can meet specifications, properties and functionalities desired to produce finished baked goods and icings,” he says. It accommodates a wide temperature range, making it readily workable under common temperatures encountered in wholesale and in-store bakeries. “Additionally, it has superior consistency, creaminess, stability and flavor, making it an ideal replacement for PHOs in icings.”

Since icing is such a widely used application, many ingredient companies are tackling the challenge of replacing PHOs in the icing. Icing is perhaps more challenging than most applications, notes John Satumba, food ingredient and analytical chemistry director, Cargill, because of “the complexity of the required performance and indulgent attributes.” Its Regal Icing NH Shortening for icings offers aeration and structuring without hydrogenation. “It’s fully compliant with clean-label initiatives. It has a brilliant white color, achieved without the usage of titanium dioxide, is 20 percent lower in saturated fat and has outstanding creaming properties.”

Multifunctional magic

The tall order of consumer desires for clean labels, simplicity and sustainability gets compounded when factoring gluten-into the mix.

Fiberstar, Inc., River Falls, WI, uses a patented, clean process to manufacture Citri-Fi, a functional fiber derived from orange pulp, says Nesha Zalesny, technical sales manager. “The combination of the physical process and the makeup of the fiber enables it to hold 7 to 10 times its weight in water.”

Amanda Wagner, food technologist, Fiberstar adds that Citri-Fi 200, which is co-processed with guar gum, is recommended for baked goods needing viscosity. “Gluten-free flours tend to produce very little viscosity, which can create issues in dispensing, in the baking process and with texture of the final product.”

Fibersol, a fiber with multiple benefits, can be used to achieve nutrient content claims (e.g., fiber enrichment) and can also be used to provide perception of moistness, tenderness and texture in sugar-reduced products, notes Doris Dougherty, technical service representative, ADM, Chicago. “In many bakery products, such as icings and chocolate compounds, sugars can be reduced by as much as 25 percent and the product will still taste sweet without added high-intensity sweeteners. In cases where the original product contains substantial sugar for functionality, not solely sweetness, some of the sugar can be replaced by Fibersol.”

When looking to add crispiness to expanded or extruded snack components while lowering the calorie content, consider Fibersym RW, a resistant wheat starch, suggests Ody Maningat, vice president of ingredients research and chief science officer, MGP Ingredients, Atchison, KS. Although Fibersym RW can deliver a minimum of 85 percent total dietary fiber, it has a unique functionality to add crispiness. “In a study at the University of Nebraska, when added at the 10 percent level, Fibersym RW enhances crispiness of indirect expanded snacks.”

Demanding processing conditions, such as freeze/ thaw conditions, can challenge the move to clean label. “Working with BENEO’s native rice starch Remypure enables formulators to clean up even these products,” says Jon Peters, president, BENEO, Inc., Morris Plains, NJ. “BENEO uses a new thermal production process, which is entirely natural, enabling this rice starch to achieve performance levels comparable to chemically modified food starches—but without the use of any chemicals.” One suggested application is fruit preps for snack and bakery products.

Malt extracts can also provide a multitude of functional benefits, according to Jim Kappas, vice president of sales and marketing, Malt Products Corp., Dayton, OH. “The enzymes found naturally in malt extracts are known to increase the rate of oven rise and provide a smoother crust.” He points out that malt extracts can also enhance the nutty flavor in a bar application, or used to replace corn syrup or cane sugar. It also provides a notable level of antioxidants.

When select functional ingredients can provide secondary—or even tertiary—benefits beyond their primary function, they help ease the task of solving the challenges of clean label, sugar reduction, fiber enhancement, process optimization and more. With the right research on hand, you can make your ingredients work as hard as you do.

Demand increases for probiotic drinks (Beverage Industry)

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(Barbara Harfmann)
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There’s an idiom that talks about listening to one’s gut as a way to ward off something that doesn’t feel right. After the brain, the gastrointestinal tract, or gut, is the nervous system’s second-biggest network of closely interconnected neurons that greatly impacts overall health and well-being, experts say. This has resulted in an increase of new and more natural approaches to digestive health with beverage-makers adding fiber, probiotics and “good bacteria” to their new products.

Consumers have become increasingly interested in consuming probiotics as a way to boost their gut health, driving interest in probiotic-containing functional beverages. Sales of refrigerated probiotic functional drinks and juices have increased 31.2 percent since 2016, with probiotic plant-based creamers and milks up 269.7 percent during that same period, according to data from Chicago-based SPINS.

Seventy percent of consumers associate probiotics with healthfulness, leading to widespread acceptance of this good bacteria, says Ilana Orlofsky, marketing manager at Niles, Ill.-based Imbibe.

“In terms of trends related to digestive health beverages, we’ve seen a lot of botanical flavors hit the marketplace, such as elderberry, lavender, lemongrass and turmeric. In terms of innovation, I know of one brand — Aspen Pure Probiotic (from New Age Beverages Corp.) that has developed a proprietary production process that allows for a nine-month shelf life without deterioration to more than 2 billion [colony forming units] (CFUs) of live probiotics,” Orlofsky says. “Shelf-stable probiotics or processing that yields shelf-stable probiotic [ready-to-drinks] (RTDs) will be a game changer, since beverages will not have to compete for the refrigerated aisle (or manage a refrigerated supply chain) like they currently do.”

Although probiotics have benefited from digestive health trends, fiber has been more challenged in the branding of its digestive benefits. “Fiber’s biggest challenge is that it doesn’t seem sexy,” Orlofsky says. “Some beverage brands that are high in fiber (often from fruits and vegetables) include a digestive health claim more prominently than a high fiber claim, but I expect this to change as health-and-wellness proponents implement strategies to alter the perception of fiber.”

Beverage-makers also are becoming more creative, leveraging probiotics in dairy, dairy alternatives, fermented beverages, grain-based products, on-the-go snacks and drinks, and fruit- and vegetable-based products, says Satya Jonnalagadda, director of nutrition at Kerry, Beloit, Wis.

Researchers also are working to link the benefits of prebiotics and probiotics and their impact on gut microbiome with the overall focus on health and well-being, she says.

Prebiotics are a non-digestible nutrient naturally found in foods like asparagus, chicory, garlic, wheat and oats that stimulate bacterial growth or activity in the colon, while probiotics are live organisms, typically bacteria, that provide a health benefit when consumed at certain levels, she explains.

A healthy halo
Experts note that nutrient-rich products that provide added value and a stronger health halo have a greater likelihood of finding success on store shelves.

Pavo, Ga.-based Dreaming Cow Creamery recently launched LUSH, a nutrient-dense, grass-fed and 100 percent pasture-raised yogurt drink that blends fruits with more than 20 billion CFUs of Bifidobacterium-12 probiotics in each 12-ounce bottle, the company says.

Although probiotics typically are used in yogurt-based beverages, they’re also becoming more prevalent in fruit and vegetable juices, which also might contain innate and added fibers that complement the probiotics thereby strengthening the digestive health benefits and messaging, notes Nesha Zalesny, technical sales manager at Fiberstar Inc., River Falls, Wis.

“Since digestive health has been on consumers’ radars for the past few years, this area is set to grow significantly in the years to come,” Zalesny says, citing kefir, cold-pressed or high-pressure processed (HPP) fruit smoothies, as well as alcohol and non-alcohol versions of kombucha as trends contributing to this potential growth.

“Most probiotic beverages enhance gut health and are promoted to help a variety of digestive issues and even candida proliferation,” she continues. “Gut health is closely linked to immune health. There is a plethora of studies about gut microflora and fauna such as differences between normal weight versus an obese individual or a normal individual versus [an] autistic individual. These studies are the catalyst driving probiotic health benefit research, which will support new [and] future claims, target consumer marketing, and customized food product trends.”

Supported by science
Research studies also document the importance of fibers such as chicory root fiber (inulin) on digestive health.

“Studies have shown that 5 grams of chicory root fiber per day not only adds fiber to the diet, but can also help feed normal beneficial probiotic bacteria in the gut,” explains Carol Lowry, senior food scientist at Minneapolis-based Cargill. “As a prebiotic, it enhances the growth of lactobacillus and bifidobacterium species. Consuming 5 grams of chicory root fiber per day stimulates the microflora in the digestive tract, helping to maintain a neutral balance.”

Suitable for functional and flavored waters, powdered beverages, smoothies, and chilled juice applications, Cargill offers its Oliggo-Fiber, a chicory root fiber.

Quality, science-backed ingredients in applications like kombuchas, HPP juices, sparkling beverages, teas and coffees also can help boost sales, says Cleveland-based Ganeden, makers of the patented GRAS probiotic ingredient GanedenBC30.

Ganeden’s Vice President of Scientific Operation’s David Keller notes that although probiotic strains might look alike, efficacy is strain-dependent and claims need to be supported by strain-specific data.

“Beverage manufacturers that formulate with GanedenBC30 can make claims including supports digestive health, supports immune health, enhances protein utilization and survives 10 times more effectively than yogurt cultures,” Keller explains. “In the past, due to survivability issues, probiotics were restrained to the supplement or refrigerated dairy categories. However, GanedenBC30 can survive almost any manufacturing process … and does not need to be combined with a prebiotic to have beneficial effects on the end-user.”

From a formulation standpoint, probiotics are “quite easy” to incorporate into beverages as they have a fairly neutral taste profile, Imbibe’s Vice President of Research and Development Joe Farinella notes.

Yet, because probiotics are sensitive to high temperatures, he advises beverage formulators to add overage to their formulas and to reduce high-temperature exposure as much as possible throughout the pasteurization and packaging processes.

“These challenges are only applicable to probiotics in the ready-to-drink formats,” Farinella says. “Probiotics in a dry format are highly stable, making powder an appealing vehicle to deliver the health benefits of probiotics.”

Neeraj Sharma, senior research development and applications scientist at Kerry, echoes similar sentiments. “Powdered nutritional and isotonic beverages would capture the benefits of both pre- and probiotics as these categories deliver the health benefits demanded by consumers and there is a lesser chance of cultures degrading over time in powdered beverages.

“… Some probiotic cultures can survive UHT temperatures; however, the cleanliness of processing equipment should always be top of mind from a food safety perspective,” she continues. “Similarly, in high-acid beverages, some types of prebiotic fibers will break down into simple carbohydrates over time through hydrolysis. Therefore, the determination of total dietary fiber in a finished product should be evaluated at the end of the shelf life rather than at the beginning.” BI

Better-for-you snacks look to increase nutrition, crunch, flavor (Snackfood & Wholesale Bakery)

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(May 18, 2017)
Liz Parker

Usage of the term “better-for-you” can be confusing for some, but generally it means taking traditional foods—including many snacks and baked goods that are normally thought of as indulgent, like cookies and sweets—and improving them nutritionally, including cleaning up the label. This can largely be accomplished through ingredient selection.

Better baked goods

Bakers continue to experiment with different grains and flours to improve nutritionals. “The baking industry is very focused on clean label and especially in the bread and roll category,” says David Guilfoyle, group innovation manager, bakery, fats and oils, DuPont Nutrition & Health, New Century, KS. “Many restaurants are searching for bakeries that can supply bread, buns and rolls that are clean label in their ingredient declarations.” He notes this also extends to the supermarket.

Bunge, St. Louis, offers expeller-pressed oils and ancient grains for breads. The expeller-pressed oils include Non-GMO Project Verified soy and canola oil, USDA-certified organic soy oil, and high-performance non-GMO sunflower oil. “All of our oils are expeller-pressed, which is a more sustainable approach to making oil versus conventional extraction methods,” explains Mark Stavro, senior director of marketing. “The soy and canola oil is transparently sourced from our family of farms across North America.”

For ancient grains, Bunge offers quinoa, millet and sorghum in a wide variety of ingredient formats. “You can add the heath halo and trend appeal of ancient grains to a wide variety of applications, including breadings, batters, extruded snacks, pizza doughs and more,” says Stavro.

Whole grains, including flax, buckwheat, quinoa and gluten-free oats, are trending. “My go-to ingredients are whole grains,” says Jake Brach, manager, culinary learning and development, Rich Products, Buffalo, NY. He notes these whole grains are all high in fiber and bring many health benefits.

The Grain Foods Foundation (GFF), Washington, D.C., recommends whole wheat, oats, barley and other ingredients, for baked goods. “Whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds can give synergy that will complete the protein and give a variety of photonutrients and beneficial fatty acids, while adding fiber,” says Julie Miller Jones, Ph.D., LN, CNS, a member of the GFF Scientific Advisory Board.

La Brea Bakery, Los Angeles, uses its non-GMO Fortuna wheat for its Flatbread Crisps. The Crisps are made using single-origin heirloom Fortuna wheat and fresh herbs. “Consumers are looking to buy snacks with easily recognizable ingredients—‘real food.’ When creating our new line of La Brea Bakery Flatbread Crisps, we wanted to launch a snack made from wholesome ingredients, without compromising taste,” says Andrew Blok, brand director. “Consumers are also looking for transparency in their foods. While snacks are often thought of as an indulgence, we’re finding that even when looking to treat themselves, consumers are becoming more selective with the foods that they are buying because of the ingredients.”

Ingredient statements

Consumers are reading labels more and more, and they want to know what they’re buying for themselves and their families.

“Consumers increasingly want to know what goes into their food, and they seek products that contain minimal ingredients, as well as ingredients that are familiar to them,” says Jamie Smith, food scientist, Wixon, St. Francis, WI. “Products made with real food and pantry-type ingredients appeal to consumers’ expectations for clean label, free-from and simple ingredients, all of which are perceived to be healthier, better-for you options.”

Ancient grains and others are ingredients that consumers often look for when purchasing breads and snacks.

“Ancient grains are versatile and can be extruded, flaked, popped and formulated into a variety of snack foods,” remarks Zack Sanders, director of marketing, Ardent Mills, Denver. He notes kernel and flour ingredient formats, including custom blends, are available to add fiber, protein and minerals.

“Fruit powders, spices and herbs are good choices to meet the simple ingredients expectation, as well,” says Roni Eckert, senior food scientist, Wixon.

Citri-Fi from Fiberstar, Inc., River Falls, WI, is a natural citrus fiber derived from the orange juicing process that can provide multiple benefits in baked good and snacks. “Citri-Fi can be labeled as ‘citrus fiber,’ ‘dried citrus pulp’ or ‘citrus flour,’ which resonates with the clean-label and natural markets,” says Kurt Villwock, Ph.D., director of R&D. “Citri-Fi qualifies as a fiber under the new FDA ruling, so it contributes fiber to the nutritional declaration.”

If consumers are looking to eat less sugar, BENEO Inc., Morris Plains, NJ, has a solution: Its chicory root fiber can provide range of sugar reduction, from 10 percent to completely sugar-free, depending on the formulation. “Talking about sugar replacement in baked goods and cereal bars brings some technical challenges, because the characteristics of the sugar need to be maintained,” comments Jon Peters, president. “Most important is maintaining the sweet taste, which conveys the indulgent feeling while enjoying baked goods.”

Nuts have often been a better-for-you ingredient, too, and adding nuts such as almonds to snacks can add protein and “good,” unsaturated fats. “In a survey conducted by the Almond Board of California, 77 percent of consumers perceive almonds to be the most-healthful nut,” explains Jeff Smith, director of marketing, Global Ingredients Division, Blue Diamond Almonds, Sacramento, CA. “They ranked almonds highest among nuts for being nutritious, a key source of energy and heart-healthy—all of which make them a key ingredient in better-for-you baked foods and snack products.”

Protein is another nutrient consumers are looking to increase in their daily diets. “Examination of desired protein amount finds that the largest percentage of bar buyers are looking for products with a moderate amount of protein,” says Satya Jonnalagadda, director of nutrition, Kerry, Beloit, WI. “Protein helps to support healthy body-weight management, satiety, growth and development in children, and bone and immune health.”

Flavors and textures

One concern that may arise in adding better-for-you ingredients is maintaining expected flavors and textures.

In some cases, the new ingredients can improve these qualities. “Ingredients like flax, buckwheat, millet, quinoa and oats have a definite impact on texture when used in a whole-grain form—they add crunch, and a lot of texture, to the finished product,” says Brach. He finds these ingredients more flavorful than wheat flour, when presented in a milled form.

Ingredients like teff, quinoa or Kamut help to create fluffier, more-palatable baked goods, and add a nice crunch to baked snacks like crackers and cookies, comments Jill Motew, president and founder, Zemas Madhouse Foods, Highland Park, IL. “When we eat simple carbs like white rice flour and starches, they tend to ‘sit’ in our guts like a brick, because there is very little nutrition to be absorbed and utilized as an energy source,” she says. For baking, she always recommend incorporating whole grains.

“Unground ancient and whole grains can give desirable texture and flavor to crackers and breads,” comments Kim Cornelius, senior food scientist, Wixon. “Seeds and ancient grains can give extra crunch and flavor depth to salty snacks and crackers.”

Healthy Food Ingredients, Fargo, ND, offers Suntava purple corn ingredients, with an ancient and proven background of uses in many cultures. The purple corn ingredients can add texture, color and antioxidants to products. “Purple corn can be used in a cracker application as either a fine flour or a coarse meal. The fine purple corn flour with provide a uniform dark-purple color with little change to the overall cracker texture,” says Regina Bertoldo, food scientist. “The coarse purple corn meal will contribute a variation of color with dark purple flecks, and add a gritty texture. These variations in granulation and forms can be used in the same formulation to achieve an interesting combination of texture, flavor and appearance.”

Corbion, Lenexa, KS, offers PRISTINE, its clean-label ingredient portfolio, and ENSEMBLE, drop-in non-PHO emulsifiers, for better-for-you snacks and baked goods. “Developing better-for-you baked goods and snacks can be a challenge for manufacturers when it comes to impacting taste and texture,” admits Kathy Sargent, market director, bakery. “The experts at Corbion developed the PRISTINE and ENSEMBLE portfolios to allow manufacturers the ability to deliver the consistent quality and maintain the taste and texture of their products that consumers have come to expect.”

Ingredion, Bridgewater, NJ, recently launched its PRECISA CRISP series of snack texturizers, which allow companies to create baked snacks with enhanced textures, optimal expansion and reduced breakage. “The PRECISA CRISP texturizer series won’t have an impact on the flavor. However, the texturizer series can allow you to produce light and crispy or hard and crunchy textures, while tailoring the expansion of the snack to match the desired finished product’s texture,” says Ricardo Rodriguez, marketing manager, confectionary and bakery. “This delivers a satisfying textural eating experience.”

Nuts are often go-to ingredients for crunch and texture, as well. Adding almonds to snacks and bakery products can bring out appealing, new textural sensations, says Smith. “The ‘crunch factor’ delivered by diced, slivered or sliced almonds is a good example of this.”

Market perceptions

Perceptions of the better-for-you market, whether from a company’s or a consumer’s perspective, tend to range in opinion.

“The better-for-you market is a good opportunity for companies and their developers to take a step back and think about the ingredients that naturally perform the functions that, in the past, have relied on highly processed and technical ingredients to achieve,” says Kyle Stuart, culinary scientist, Parker Products, Fort Worth, TX.

The better-for-you market has been growing. It’s up 14 percent since 2006, and is forecasted to grow the fastest of three snack categories—better-for-you, savory and sweet—analyzed in a recent NPD Group report, “The Future of Eating: Who’s Eating What in 2018?”

Smith notes that other industry sources have likewise predicted strong growth in better-for-you snacks, likely due to an increase in availability of such products. “Consumer habits favor snacking and eating-on-the go,” he says, and this goes along with a dual interest in healthy living and the pursuit of flavor.

“Better-for-you is a trend that is here today, but will gain in importance, such as fresh, local and artisan products where there is transparency between the producer and the consumer,” notes Brach.

Although “better-for-you” is a broad category of general health-and-wellness that means different things to different people, it is a dominating trend in the industry—and one that will only continue to grow, says Stavro.

And the market is evolving, notes Jonas Feliciano, market research and consumer insights manager, snacks, Kerry. “We are seeing a departure from the traditional diet-related foods like ‘reduced-fat’ and a shift to a more-proactive approach to health-and-wellness through foods that offer improved gut health and immunity.”

One solution for such products is probiotics. “Consumers are becoming more conscious of what they’re eating, and educating themselves on the ingredients in those products,” says Mike Bush, president, Ganeden, Mayfield Heights, OH. “Consumers reported that they’re looking for healthier choices, and ingredients like probiotics help increase purchase interest.”

Trendspotting

Sweeteners are a hot topic in better-for-you today. “Better-for-you trends include alternative sweeteners like honey, molasses and fruit sugars,” says Angie Singer, director of sales and marketing, Delavau Food Partners, Philadelphia. “There’s a focus on elimination of artificial or non-clean-label ingredients of all kinds, including flavors, colors and preservatives.”

New Nutrition Facts rules will prompt sugar cuts. “Sugar reduction and sugar replacement—including ‘added sugars’—will be key drivers in the near future,” says Peters. “Additionally, we are seeing an increased interest in the ‘microbiome,’ science that shows the impact of the gut microflora on overall health and wellness. Digestive health is a key trend for the present moment.”

However, consumers are still skeptical of claims that manufacturers make. According to a 2016 Mintel survey, 78 percent believe snacks marketed as healthy and better-for-you are not actually healthy.

“In response to this, many large snack manufacturers are launching new brands within their portfolio, separate from their legacy brands, which focus on healthier snacking opportunities in order to win consumer trust,” notes Feliciano. “The snacks we are seeing as currently trending are those that claim no artificial ingredients, high protein, high fiber, low sodium, a good source of whole grains and reduced sugar.”

These combined traits paint the big picture of better-for-you. “Better-for-you is moving beyond the typical fat and sugar focus and to a more holistic view,” says Jennifer Stephens, vice president, marketing, Fiberstar.

“Trends have shown that consumers are turning a corner,” says Blok. “They crave transparency, and fewer ingredients. They’re not automatically thinking about breads and carbs as being ‘bad’ or unhealthy, but rather recognizing that when bread is made correctly, it’s a nutritious part of a balanced diet.”

Likely candidates

“If you look at what snacks and baked goods are performing best in the market, such as cereal bars, grab-and-go snacks, etc., they’re all candidates for nutritional improvement,” remarks Stuart.

Any type of snack can be made healthier, if needed, suggests Peters. “With smart solutions and the right choice of ingredients, manufacturers can offer healthier baked and snack products that still satisfy consumers’ cravings.”

Sweets are sometimes perceived as an indulgence, packed with empty, unneeded calories, says Nesha Zalesny, technical sales manager, Fiberstar, Inc. “A new category is needed to appeal to a person’s sweet tooth, but provide nutrition, energy, satiety and reasonable caloric content.”

Amanda Wagner, food technologist, Fiberstar, suggests baked goods like muffins and cakes are good candidates for nutritional improvements. “Citri-Fi can help reduce fat in muffins and cakes, while providing similar full-fat textural properties.”

Cookies also show better-for-you potential. “Cookies and brownies are excellent candidates for adding nutritional improvements and maintaining their texture and flavor,” remarks Guilfoyle. “They are perfect for a grab-and-go snack or indulgent treat. Both cookies and brownies can be improved nutritionally with protein addition and whole grains.”

Gluten-free products can also stand some improvement. “In general, gluten-free products are lower in nutrition than similar wheat-containing products,” explains Rodriguez. “The celiac community is well aware of this, but as more and more non-celiac consumers buy gluten-free products and read the nutrition label, they are starting to realize this, too, so there is a demand to nutritionally fortify gluten-free products.”

Nowadays, companies have all of the tools needed to enhance their products. “Enhancing nutritional attributes in products is no longer an ingredient or formulation barrier, but is a matter of innovative formulation and willingness to change process parameters by industry developers,” says Bertoldo. “As consumers become more and more aware of what is grown and consumed all over the world, the interest in novel and sustainable ingredients will also continue to drive the market.”

Ingredients to Address Fiber Shortfalls (IFT Food Technology)

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Ingredients to Address Fiber Shortfalls 
Linda Milo Ohr

Consumers know that dietary fiber is important for health, but many adults are not meeting the recommended 28 g/day. With benefits in the areas of blood sugar management, digestion, weight management, and mineral absorption, fiber has an important role in overall wellness. Gopinath et al. (2016) even suggested that increasing the intake of fiberrich foods could be a successful strategy in disease-free and fully functional aging. The researchers examined the relationship between dietary glycemic index and glycemic load, carbohydrate, sugar, and fiber intake (including fruits, vegetables, and breads/cereals fiber) and successful aging. A total of 1,609 adults aged 49 and older who were free of cancer, coronary artery disease, and stroke at baseline were followed for 10 years. Successful aging status was defined as the absence of disability, depressive symptoms, cognitive impairment, respiratory symptoms, and chronic diseases. The subjects in the highest quartile versus lowest quartile of total fiber intake had greater odds of aging successfully. Those who remained consistently below the median in consumption of fiber from bread/ cereal and fruit compared with the rest of cohort were less likely to age successfully.
Here is a look at fiber ingredients that can help consumers increase their intake of dietary fiber.

Defining Fiber
Last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a new definition for dietary fiber, defining it as “non-digestible soluble and insoluble carbohydrates (with three or more monomeric units) and lignin that are intrinsic and intact in plants; isolated or synthetic nondigestible carbohydrates (with three or more monomeric units) determined by the FDA to have physiological effects that are beneficial to human health.” Currently the FDA has identified seven types of isolated or synthetic nondigestible carbohydrates that meet the new definition. They include beta-glucan soluble fiber, psyllium husk, cellulose, guar gum, pectin, locust bean gum, and hydroxypropylmethylcellulose. Companies with ingredients that did not make this list or meet the definition have filed citizen petitions with the FDA for approval. Some of these ingredients include chicory root inulin, resistant starch, and oligosaccharides. Information in the petitions includes data and research supporting the beneficial physiological effects of these ingredients. Companies with $10 million or more in annual sales must comply with fiber labeling requirements by July 2018, and those with less than $10 million in annual sales must comply by July 2019.

Dietary Fiber on Display
Regardless of the new definition, companies at this year’s Engredea and Natural Products Expo West showcased their fiber ingredients that are supported by research to have beneficial physiological properties as well as functionality. For example, Cargill, Wayzata, Minn. (cargill.com), created a reducedsugar vegan hazelnut spread with its Oliggo-Fiber chicory root fiber, which aided in sugar reduction. AIDP, City of Industry, Calif. (aidp.com), showcased PreticX prebiotic in a cranberry beverage. It is a non-GM corn-derived xylooligosaccharide. Ingredion, Westchester, Ill. (ingredion.us), served a reducedsugar prebiotic cherry-beet juice containing NUTRAFLORA L95-S prebiotic fiber.

In October 2016, Ingredion launched VERSAFIBE dietary fiber ingredients for low cost-in-use fiber fortification. The corn-based insoluble resistant starches enable manufacturers to add fiber to foods with little to no impact on product texture, flavor, and color. VERSAFIBE 2470 and 1490 dietary fibers can deliver fiber and help reduce calories and carbohydrates in low-moisture applications such as breads, crackers, cookies, pastas, noodles, and extruded products. These are additions to Ingredion’s portfolio of fibers, including HI-MAIZE resistant starch, NUTRAFLORA prebiotic soluble fiber for digestive support, and NUTRIOSE soluble fiber for satiety and weight management benefits.

The FDA in December 2016 approved a Qualified Health Claim petition for highamylose maize resistant starch and reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. The qualified health claim petition was based on eight clinical trials that assessed the impact of HI-MAIZE high-amylose maize resistant starch on insulin sensitivity and other biomarkers. The resistant starch helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels and supports balanced energy by reducing the glycemic response to foods and improving carbohydrate metabolism. It is a white fiber that can be seamlessly incorporated into breads, baked goods, snacks, and pasta, where it replaces up to 20% of flour.

ADM Matsutani, Decatur, Ill. (fibersol.com), in January 2017 introduced Fibersol-DLQ, a corn syrup solid version of soluble corn fiber that offers approximately 75% soluble dietary fiber on a dry solids basis. Fibersol-DLQ, like its liquid counterpart Fibersol-LQ, has been specifically designed for customers who want their products to make a fiber claim, but do not require a higher percentage of fiber.

Fiberstar, River Falls, Wis. (fiberstar. net), has highlighted the functionality of its Citri-Fi 125 ingredient, a natural citrus fiber derived from the orange juicing process. Citri-Fi contains insoluble and soluble fiber. Last month, the company announced the winners of the Citri-Fi 125 Student Innovation Contest. First place went to the team from Oregon State University Seafood Research and Education Center, which used the citrus fiber ingredient as an effective fat blocker in fried seafood. Specifically, Citri-Fi 125 was used in a coating formulation to reduce oil pick-up, providing potential cost savings, as well as providing opportunities to reduce fat and calories. Second place went to the team from Surya University in Indonesia for creating a reduced-fat instant laksa paste. In this product concept, Citri-Fi 125 was used to reduce the amount of coconut milk used, resulting in cost savings and fat reduction. Third place went to the team from Washington State University for a Citri-Crunch Healthy Savory Extruded Pork Snack product concept. The citrus fiber helped reduce the oil uptake and improved the flavor by enhancing the umami flavor of monosodium glutamate.

Fiber Research
In addition to ingredient developments, fiber suppliers continue to publish research supporting health benefits. Taiyo International, Minneapolis, Minn. (sunfiber.com), announced research that its soluble dietary fiber, Sunfiber, was found to improve the metabolic health of people who are glucose intolerant (Kapoor et al. 2016). Sunfiber is a partially hydrolyzed guar gum ingredient. The human clinical study noted benefits in hyperglycemia, cholesterol levels, inflammatory markers, and a decrease in waist circumference, particularly associated with abdominal fat, without any additional modifications to diet, exercise, or lifestyle. Twelve healthy subjects consumed 6 g of Sunfiber with each meal for 12 months. The researchers found that consuming the meals that included 6 g of the ingredient three times daily resulted in significantly reduced postprandial blood glucose levels; significantly reduced postprandial insulin and triglyceride levels; lowered LDL cholesterol and increased HDL cholesterol levels; reduced inflammatory markers, including C-reactive protein; and significantly reduced body mass index, particularly measurable in waist circumference.

In February 2016, Health Canada approved Taiyo’s Sunfiber health claims for treating irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and alleviating childhood constipation. Taiyo is also pursuing similar qualified health claims for IBS in the United States and Europe.

BENEO, Morris Plains, N.J. (beneo. com), recently published two studies showing further digestive health benefits (improving bowel regularity and softening stools) for its prebiotic chicory root Formulate crackers and other products with various types of fiber and resistant starch to help consumers boost their dietary intake. With benefits in the areas of blood sugar management, digestion, weight management,and mineral absorption, fiber has an important role in overall wellness. pg 116 04.17 • www.ift.org fiber (BENEO 2017). Micka et al. (2016) showed that chicory root inulin improved bowel function in adults and contributed to improved digestive health. The clinical trial included 44 healthy, slightly constipated subjects. The subjects consumed a bever – age that contained either 4 g of BENEO’s Orafti Inulin chicory root fiber or a placebo three times a day (once with a break – fast meal, once with a lunch meal, and once with a dinner meal) over a 4-week period and after a 2-week run-in phase. The results showed that the prebiotic chicory inulin significantly improved stool frequency per week without resulting in gastro – intestinal discomfort. Closa-Monasterolo et al. (2017) demonstrated that prebiotic chicory root fibers, inulin, and oligofructose supported diges – tive health by improving stool consistency, while at the same time being very well tolerated, in children between ages 2–5. The subjects received either 2 g of a combination of BENEO’s Orafti Inulin and Oligofructose, or a placebo, incorporated into yogurt or fresh cheese, two times a day for a 6-week period.

DuPont Nutrition & Health, Madison, Wis. (dupont.com), published research that found that Bifidobacterium lactis 420 probiotic alone or in combination with its prebiotic fiber, Litesse Ultra polydextrose, reduced body fat mass, trunk fat mass, waist circumference, and energy intake compared to a placebo (Stenman et al. 2016). The study was conducted in a population of 225 healthy adults and demon – strated that probiotic and synbiotic (fiber plus probiotic combination) seemed to control body fat mass, especially in the abdominal area in overweight adults.

MGP Ingredients, Atchison, Kan. (mgpingredients.com), announced results of an independent study conducted at South Dakota State University showing that its Fibersym RW resistant wheat starch reduced risk factors associated with metabolic syndrome (MGP Ingredients 2016). Such factors included high blood pressure, abdominal obesity, elevated fasting blood sugar, and high blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The 26-week study involved 20 subjects from two Hutterite colonies in eastern South Dakota who had signs of metabolic syndrome. The subjects consumed food products made with flour (control) or a 30%/70% blend of Fibersym RW and flour with no other dietary restrictions. The intervention was conducted in two 12-week sessions, with a two-week break to allow the researchers to switch the intervention and control groups so that each group served as its own control. After consuming Fibersym RW, the subjects had a lower percentage of body fat and trending lower waist circumference, along with reduced glycosylated hemoglobin and lower fasting blood glucose. The consumption of Fibersym RW also resulted in reduced total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and non-HDL cholesterol, as well as less proinflammatory molecules in the blood.

In November 2016, MGP Ingredients filed a citizen petition with the FDA asking the agency to further confirm the status of Fibersym RW and FiberRite RW resistant wheat starches as dietary fiber. While MGP’s citizen petition is undergoing review, the current status of Fibersym RW, along with FiberRite RW, as accepted dietary fiber and recognized fiber-fortifying ingredients remains in place.

Nexira, Rouen, France (nexira.com), in November 2016 announced that the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) approved its health claim for Fibregum for glycemia regulation. Fibregum is an acacia gum with a minimum guarantee of 90% dietary fiber. In order to bear the health claim, at least 30% of sugars should be replaced in foods or drinks by acacia gum. Through different evaluations, EFSA based its opinion on a scientific consensus that concluded that sugar replacement in foods and beverages by non-digestible carbohydrates induces a reduction of postprandial glycemia and insulinemia. FT Next month’s Nutraceuticals section will provide a preview of some of the ingredient suppliers exhibiting at IFT17 in Las Vegas, June 26–28.

Pizza innovation increases, frozen pizza sales decrease (Snackfoods & Wholesale Bakery)

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Pizza innovation increases, frozen pizza sales decrease

(March 17, 2017)
Douglas J. Peckenpaugh

Over the past four months since our last analysis of the pizza category, retail sales have taken a slight dip. Frozen pizza dollar sales were down 0.75 percent for the 52 weeks ending January 22, 2017 to $4.6 billion, per IRI, Chicago. Only one company has maintained positive performance, with Palermo Villa up 4.84 percent to $122.9 million, anchored by its Screamin’ Sicilian brand (up 9.82 percent in dollar sales to $70.9 million)—a testament to the staying power of the super-premium segment. Private label is also still capturing growth, up 8.95 percent to $580.3 million.

Other standouts in frozen pizza for the period include The Schwan Food Co. brand Tony’s (up 14.16 percent to $77.3 million) and Nestlé brand Lean Cuisine (up 16.82 to $69.9 million).

Frozen pizza crusts and dough likewise took a slight hit, down 0.32 percent to $19.7 million, per IRI, while shelf-stable pizza crusts and shells dropped 4.89 percent to $107.9 million. Of the top five brands in frozen pizza crusts and dough, only gluten-free baker Against the Grain Gourmet saw a gain (up 17.11 percent to $1.1 million). It’s notable that Against the Grain bakes three kinds of cheese directly into its gluten-free crust. But the clear winner in frozen crusts and dough for the period was private label, rising a significant 50.62 percent in dollar sales to $4.0 million. Damascus Bakery is the standout in the top five shelf-stable crust brands, up 77.77 percent to $4.2 million.

The freshness perception is paying off in refrigerated crusts and dough, up 10.45 percent to $96.3 million. General Mills sits in the No. 1 slot of the segment with its iconic Pillsbury brand, up 4.67 percent to $47.3 million and a 49.13 percent share of the segment. Private label trails at No. 2, up 19.21 percent to $32.5 million.

Slices of interest

The pizza category has seen a wide range of innovative products within the past year or so. Of particular note has been the super-premium offerings from Palermo Villa, which first helped define this segment with its Screamin’ Sicilian line, and then with its Urban Pie line made on a croissant-inspired crust. The company has since extended its Screamin’ Sicilian line with Stromboli products.

Bolder, spicier flavors are clearly coming into play. The new Red Baron Classic Crust Chipotle Chicken pizza was launched in February. “Chipotle is a restaurant menu staple, and chicken has been outpacing all other protein consumption, so we wanted to bring these trends to retail in an approachable way,” says Brian Van Otterloo, senior director of pizza marketing, Schwan’s Consumer Brands, Inc., The Schwan Food Co., Marshall, MN, owner of the Red Baron, Tony’s, Freschetta and Bon Appétit frozen pizza lines.

The Nestlé brand Lean Cuisine has repositioned itself with flavor-forward lines like Craveables, which includes several varieties of pizza like Wood Fire-Style BBQ Chicken. Front-of-pack messaging does include a note that the single-serve pizza offers 20 grams of protein.

Better-for-you trends surface along incremental lines, adding select ingredients to refine the product’s image. Angelic Bakehouse released a Sprouted Mash 7-Grain Flatzza made with sprouted whole grains (a blend of red wheat berries, quinoa, oat groats, rye berries, barley, amaranth and millet, along with 100 percent whole-wheat flour), sunflower oil and organic honey while omitting preservatives.

Pizzeria appeal

In foodservice, French bread was the fastest-growing pizza crust type over the past year, up 15 percent per Technomic’s MenuMonitor, and flatbread pizzas increased 2 percent.

“Flatbreads continue to show steady growth on menus for a variety of reasons,” says Brett Miller, corporate chef, Tyson Foodservice, Springdale, AR. “Flatbread crusts allow operators to execute at a faster, more-efficient rate since they cook more quickly than a traditional pizza while also allowing the operator to use less toppings than would be used on traditional doughs/crusts, thereby increasing their profit margins.”

According to Michael Gunn, director of culinary, The Schwan Food Co., two interesting flavor trends are taking hold in the chain foodservice pizza today: vegetables and regional or ethnic meats.

“Vegetables used to play a supporting role in the world of pizza toppings, but now they are stars in their own right,” says Gunn. “They are being marinated and grilled, pickled, smoked and roasted to concentrate their flavors and sweetness. I’m also seeing a growing number of chains offer meat toppings that draw on well-known regional styles of preparation.” He cites Kansas City barbecue, Santa Fe chicken and Caribbean jerk as examples.

Flavor adventure can come through customization options. “Fast-casual and QSR chains continue to lead flavor innovation through a variety of ways,” says Miller. “One of these ways is offering optional drizzles or dips for pizza. This is a low-risk way for operators to feature flavor innovation—as well as customization—on the menu. The customization piece is critical, as consumers continue to look for ways to personalize their food, and some of the fastest-growing pizza chains center around this idea of customization.”

Another growing trend is hot-and-spicy pizza ingredients and drizzles, notes Miller. “Spicy base sauces are a perfect way to satisfy that craving. Hot seasonings, such as Cajun, and spicy condiments, such as spicy pickled peppers or spicy giardiniera—also allow consumers to get that fix.”

Breakfast pizzas also continue to trend forward, notes Miller. “They allow operators to stay competitive in the marketplace, especially as QSR burger chains continue to offer all-day breakfast options. While the breakfast pizza builds can vary widely, some basic commonalities include a white sauce or olive oil base, and toppings including eggs and traditional breakfast proteins such as bacon, sausage and ham.”

Daniel Marciani, executive development chef, Ardent Mills, points toward ways to build more craft appeal into pizza. “Describing cooking techniques is a way to show more attention to hand- or house-made ingredients,” he says. For example, “hand-tossed” shows up as a menu descriptor. “Some independents are taking dough techniques even further with hand-milled grains and house-sprouted grains, which is great because it brings more attention to the flavors, textures and variety of different grains, and how milling affects flavor.”

While hand-milling might not be feasible for many operators, Marciani suggests sprouted grains and ancient grains can bring similar appeal. “I like sprouted grains to inspire not just the dough, but the entire pizza, so that the toppings also have some life-giving characteristics. When consumers see the word ‘sprouted’ on the menu, they associate that with the idea of their food being alive and healthy. That’s a powerful image. Take that and pair it with some simply roasted, in-season vegetables, quality cheese and meat, and you’re going to be pulling in a lot of healthful images and associations for health-minded pizza fans.”

Descriptive culinary words like “fire-roasted” help communicate the work and effort that goes into crafting the pizza, notes Jeremy Lycan, culinary strategy and execution and product training chef, Tyson Foodservice. “‘Sourdough crust with fire-roasted tomatoes, three artisan-crafted cheese and house-cured pepperoni’ sounds way more appealing than ‘pepperoni pizza.’”

Ardent Mills recently worked with Datassential researchers to learn more about pizza trends on chain restaurant menus, says Don Trouba, director of marketing, Ardent Mills, Denver. While the firm’s menu-tracking data notes that stuffed crusts are showing up more, with mozzarella, mixed cheese and other ingredients, like bacon.

Another trend the research discovered is pizza topped with full meals. “For instance, one Florida-based concept offers a wheat flatbread with a full turkey dinner on top,” says Trouba. “It has smoked sliced turkey, whole cranberry sauce, crisp apple slices, smooth green onion cream cheese and Swiss cheese garnished with green onions.” He notes another topping trend is global inspiration, like house-marinated Korean barbecue, onions, green pepper and mushroom on a thick crust.

Datassential’s research shows thin crust is most prevalent on menus. Pan, thick, New York and deep-dish crusts complete the top five, followed by wheat, Chicago, hand-tossed, square and wood-fired. The firm suggests wood-fired, wheat and stuffed-crust pizzas have seen the strongest growth on menus since 2012.

The research also provided some specific menu examples that show interesting crusts and descriptions emerging, says Trouba. “Some examples include ‘SuperFood MultiGrain Crust’ with flax seed, açaí berry, chia seeds and sprouted multigrains. Another is gluten-free crust made from ancient grains, including sorghum, amaranth and teff.” Buckwheat and farro are also showing up in pizza crusts.

“It’s important to note that consumers are increasingly interested in knowing the details of the ingredients they eat, so instead of noting ‘multigrain crust,’ we predict you’ll be seeing more descriptions that list all the individual grains and tell a bit about the grain’s origins—who grew the grain, how it was milled, etc.,” says Trouba. “Along with health benefits, great flavor and texture, ancient grains bring great origin stories to menus.”

Pizzeria operators are working with cheese blends that have varying textures, melting properties and flavors, notes Rachel Kerr, public relations manager, Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Madison. She cites a pizza called Forza from Salvatore’s Tomato Pies, with two locations in the Madison area. “It combines smoked Wisconsin gouda for a great cheese melt with fresh Wisconsin ricotta that’s added just as the pizza comes out of the oven. The dollops of ricotta warm slightly, but don’t melt, adding an interesting visual component and milky, fresh flavor.”

Schwan’s Chef Collective held a Kitchen Collaborative last summer where a group of internal Schwan’s and external chefs—including Jet Tila, a celebrity chef and restaurateur—worked together to test different pizza flavors and crust types, ranging from pretzel crust to flavored doughs, for potential implementation in the future.

“In 2017, we will accelerate the integration of Schwan’s Chef Collective into how we think about the renovation and innovation of the foods we provide to our customers and consumers,” says Dimitrios Smyrnios, CEO, The Schwan Food Co. “We are proud of our work to distinguish Schwan from other frozen-food manufacturers by having restaurant chefs from around the country collaborate with our own chefs, food scientists and marketers, as well as our retail and foodservice customers. Our collection of talented food professionals is translating emerging culinary trends into great-tasting frozen food that runs that gamut from wholesome to indulgent.”

Hot trends

“While there is still a need for classic and traditional varieties, interest in new pizza varieties is growing, particularly among millennial consumers as they look for approachable, interesting flavors with an upscale twist,” says Julie Adams, senior manager, consumer insights and analytics, The Schwan Food Co. She notes flavor varieties to watch include Greek and Thai, as well as sauce accents that include balsamic vinegar or hot sauce. She predicts interest in more unique cheese blends and premium toppings. Cheeses gaining interest include fontina, goat and asiago. Proteins to watch include prosciutto, meatballs and pancetta.

Combining adventure and the familiar is a common theme in pizza. “Consumers are willing to stretch tradition and be adventurous by adding nontraditional toppings to a classic crust style,” says Gunn. “This allows consumers who want to explore different flavors, but aren’t willing to go too far off the beaten path, to try something new and still have the safety net of that familiar crust.”

Crusts require the right crust thickness to handle the weight of the sauce and toppings, says Marciani. “For instance, red wheat can stand up to heavier toppings and meat. White wheat is better suited to lighter toppings and sauces.”

But crusts can also inspire. “As consumers are looking for innovative new flavors and food experiences, formulators are becoming more creative with the crust and dough for pizzas,” says Tess Brensing, technical products manager, ADM Milling, Overland Park, KS. “We are seeing experimentation with layers and depths of flavors, unexpected additions like ancient grains and a range of fermentation techniques to give dough and crust more flavor and dimension.”

Demand for great-tasting foods with clean/clear labels continues, notes Brensing. “Providing sourcing information on ingredients, such as local farm-to-table offerings, helps increase the appeal,” she says. “Visual crust characteristics are also important. Ingredients like ancient grains give crusts additional texture and visual appeal, and preparation techniques such as hand-tossed and wood-fired baking also provide a less uniform, hand-made quality that makes the final product feel higher quality to consumers.”

Whole-wheat flour and ancient grains can give retail frozen pizza crusts an organic look, but they can pose some formulation challenges, notes Kurt Villwock, Ph.D., director of research and development, Fiberstar, River Falls, WI. “These flours tend to be denser and require formulation adjustments to manage moisture during par-bake, freeze/thaw and final bake.” He suggests Citri-Fi 125 natural citrus fiber to improve water-holding capacity. “This moisture retention provides potential quality improvements in the crust after freeze/thaw and final bake.” He notes that the ingredient, which can be labeled as “citrus fiber,” can also help with water syneresis in tomato-based sauces, as well as oil with purge control in pepperoni or sausage meat toppings.

After all, at the end of the day, inspired culinary innovation doesn’t mean much if your pizza doesn’t maintain its functional properties when prepared by the end user. Art and science walk hand-in-hand with the best pizzas the market has to offer.

Shifting Fiber Definition Requires a New Game Plan (Baking Business)

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Shifting Fiber Definition Requires a New Game Plan 

(Laurie Gorton)

Talk about mid-season roster changes. That’s essentially what happened to “Team Total Dietary Fiber” when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published the final rules that updated the Nutrition Facts Panel, a mandatory part of food package labeling.

Many definitions of dietary fiber have circulated, written by AACC International, Codex Alimentarius and other industry and government groups. Some insisted that the only food components that qualify as dietary fiber must be those placed there solely by Mother Nature. Others asserted that any food ingredient that analyzes chemically as a non-digestible carbohydrate should be considered dietary fiber.

But until May 27, 2016, FDA had not weighed in, and when it did, the agency set the bar high. It established a brand new, three-part definition. First, it listed “non-digestible soluble and insoluble carbohydrates (with three or more monomeric units) and lignin that are intrinsic and intact in plants.” Second, it acknowledged “isolated or synthetic non-digestible carbohydrates (with three or more monomeric units) determined by FDA to have physiological effects that are beneficial to human health.” And third, total dietary fiber (TDF) was recognized as the sum of “intrinsic and intact” and “isolated or synthetic” present in the food.

That definition is quite literally a mouthful. But it means that the rules of the game have changed drastically for choosing fiber ingredients and making claims about the amount of dietary fiber contained in a food product.

The good news is that “intrinsic and intact” fiber is found in many bakery ingredients such as flour, cereal brans, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. The bad news is that FDA named only seven of the marketplace’s numerous fiber additive ingredients — now termed “isolated or synthetic non-digestible carbohydrates.” It left more than two dozen in limbo. Suppliers of such ingredients can get them onto FDA’s list through the citizen petition process, and several have filed already.

Still, the fact is that fiber and baked foods go together. “Fiber is a natural for baked foods,” said Cathy Dorko, regional product manager, DuPont Nutrition & Health.

Consumers do understand that dietary fiber is good for them, observed Douglas Raeder, product manager, DuPont Nutrition & Health. “We see a lot of positive feedback about fiber’s positive effect on health,” he said. “And many consumers feel they fall short on fiber intake. Fiber occupies a very important space.”

A compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.4% through 2020 is projected for the dietary fiber market, noted Renee Beall, food marketing, Roquette America. “Consumers — looking to address health risks, weight management and simply to make better choices for themselves and their families — recognize that fiber is a critical part of a healthy eating pattern,” she said. “Adding fiber is an easy, cost-effective way to add a health-related claim and differentiate your product. It can also lower fat, calories and sugar content of your product.”

With FDA’s new definition, bakers and snack food producers — and their fiber ingredient suppliers who want to make fiber claims — have been put into a third-and-long situation. “Although this new rule poses some challenges to the food industry, the purpose is to update packaged foods labels to reflect new scientific information, including the link between diet and chronic diseases such as obesity and heart disease,” said Tom Carrington, senior regulatory scientist, Ardent Mills. “The intent is for the new label to make it easier for consumers to make better informed food choices.”

By the rules

The new definition is based on the physiological effects in humans conferred by consuming non-digestible carbohydrates, a.k.a. dietary fiber. This differs from past practice.

“Unfortunately, FDA retained the definition of dietary fiber based on a showing of a beneficial physiological effect, rather than a chemical definition, as is the case for most other nutrients,” said Lee Sanders, senior vice-president for governmental relations and public affairs for the American Bakers Association (ABA).

On Feb. 13, Ms. Sanders filed comments with FDA in which ABA urged the agency to rescind or stay “the unworkable and impractical definition of dietary fiber until it can thoroughly address the unintended consequences, costs and burdens for bakers under the current one.” Specifically, the group asked for additional fibers to be listed, provide examples about how the agency’s scientific evaluation process works, develop a public notification process for fibers it approves in the future, reclassify two fibers already approved and lengthen compliance timing.

Because most people don’t consume enough fiber, the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans designated this food component a “nutrient of concern.” FDA took note and, for labeling purposes, increased fiber’s Daily Value (DV) from 25 g per day to 28. “Caloric contribution for an insoluble non-digestible carbohydrate is 0 Cal per g,” said Paula Trumbo, PhD, nutrition programs, Office of Nutrition and Food Labeling, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, FDA, speaking to AACC International’s 2016 annual meeting held in October. “For soluble, it will range from 2 to 4 Cal per g. We don’t see this as being any different than in the past.”

What is different, however, is that food processors making dietary fiber claims must track fiber usage. “Record keeping is now required for foods that contain both dietary fiber and added non-digestible carbohydrates that do not meet the definition of dietary fiber,” Dr. Trumbo said.

The nub of the problem for formulators is that no analytical test can ascertain which fibers have or have not been determined by FDA to have physiological effects, explained Amy Fratus, regulatory affairs, Roquette America. “Any product with an added fiber that has been isolated from a plant will have to be reviewed to determine the declarable dietary fiber amount.”

When a food makes a fiber content claim, its packaging must disclose the amount. “Fiber declarations have always been voluntary,” Dr. Trumbo added, “and they still are, even under the new regulations.”

 From intrinsic to synthetic

Listed first in the FDA definition of dietary fiber are those considered intrinsic and intact. “Intact means having no relevant component removed or destroyed; intrinsic means originating and included wholly within a food,” Dr. Trumbo explained. Examples are vegetables, whole grains, fruits, cereal brans, flaked cereal and flours.When developing the final rule, FDA did a scientific review of additive dietary fiber ingredients touting physiological effects beneficial to human health. Only the seven listed presented enough accessible and supportive scientific data, according to the agency. The draft guidance FDA published on Nov. 22 described how it plans to evaluate the science supporting the dietary role claimed by isolated or synthetic non-digestible carbohydrates. That same day, the agency also released “Science Review of Isolated and Synthetic Non-Digestible Carbohydrates.” This summarized the background and scientific evidence involving various health benefits and physiological effects for 26 ingredients touting dietary fiber status. But the review did not take the next step: approval. That awaits the petition process.

“However, this evaluation is currently without conclusion,” said Jon Peters, president, Beneo, Inc. “FDA is now requesting additional scientific data and information, including unpublished studies. They are also asking for comments that would help them to finish the evaluation of the beneficial physiological effects of isolated or synthetic, non-digested carbohydrates that are added to foods.”

Dr. Trumbo confirmed this need. “If the fiber is not considered to be intrinsic and intact in a food, then it needs to demonstrate a physiological benefit to human health,” she said. “The final rule provides examples of physiological effects, such as lowering of blood glucose and cholesterol levels, lowering of blood pressure, improved laxation and bowel function, increased mineral absorption, reduced energy intake. This is not an exclusive list.”

Mr. Carrington noted, “Ardent Mills’ ingredients are only milled, rolled, chopped or crushed. Because of this, the fiber remains intrinsic and intact.” Among these high-fiber ingredients is the company’s Sustagrain barley, a whole grain that delivers 34 g total dietary fiber and 12 g beta-glucan soluble fiber per 100 g.

Traditional processing methods also characterize Grain Millers’ oat fibers and oat bran. “They are intrinsic and intact and naturally processed, made from the oat,”
explained Rajen Mehta, PhD, senior director, specialty ingredients, Grain Millers, Inc. The company also ­processes oat hull fiber with oat bran blends offering a broader spectrum of functional absorptive ingredients. “These, too, are considered intrinsic and intact fibers because they contain all the material from the anatomical layers from both the bran and the hulls. We have thoroughly studied the content of these ingredients, and the oat hull components are in the same proportion at the end of the process as at the beginning. We don’t throw anything away.”

Beans and pulses, typically supplied in cooked, dried and powdered formats, qualify for this category, too. “ADM offers a variety of plant-based bean and pulse ingredients that offer high fiber and protein in a whole-food ingredient,” said Doris Dougherty, Fibersol technical service representative at ADM.

BI Nutraceuticals specializes in fiber ingredients and offers a portfolio of fruit and vegetable powders. These satisfy the intrinsic-and-intact provision, said Alison Raban, certified food scientist. “Compliance will not be an issue for our customers using those ingredients.”

The situation with isolated or synthetic fiber additives is far more complex. FDA’s May 27, 2016, final rule listed seven that met its definition: beta-glucan soluble fiber, psyllium husk, cellulose, guar gum, locust bean gum, pectin and hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC). Beta-glucans and psyllium husk qualified because they can make FDA-approved health claims for reducing the risk of coronary heart disease. Cellulose is listed because it supports improved bowel function. The other four are hydrocolloids known to attenuate blood cholesterol.

In its Feb. 13 comments, ABA questioned placement of beta-glucans and psyllium husk in the “isolated or synthetic” category. “All sources of beta-glucan soluble fiber … are clearly intrinsic and intact, including oat bran, rolled oats, whole oat flour, oatrim, whole grain barley and dry milled barley,” Ms. Sanders wrote to FDA. “Similarly, psyllium husk … is clearly intrinsic and intact and should not be included in FDA’s list of ‘isolated or synthetic non-digestible carbohydrates.’ ” She cited existing descriptions of the materials as dietary fiber in 21 CFR 101.81 and 21 CFR 101.9.

It’s common for suppliers of fibers qualifying as intrinsic and intact to also offer isolated or synthetic choices.

At BI Nutraceuticals, Ms. Raban termed the situation “complicated.” She said, “Formulators may be scrambling to find a fiber ingredient that will meet the new definition.” The company is primary in psyllium, and offers Psyberloid psyllium fiber. “It is one of the seven isolated sources of fiber FDA has already determined to fit the new definition, so any finished products using it are already in compliance.”

Citing the approved health claims, Don Trouba, director of marketing, Ardent Mills, said that they “can be used on packaging, helping consumers understand the fiber benefits of certain products. Beyond the approved claims, other benefits of fiber in intact forms include adding flavor, textural or culinary appeal.” He described the company’s colored barleys — purple, blue and black — that provide a burst of color in beige-colored baked foods and snacks.

All of the fiber products from Solvaira Specialties qualify as insoluble, “so the body does not absorb them and, instead, assist in digestion by adding bulk,” said Jit Ang, executive vice-president, specialty ingredients. “Under current food regulations, our cellulose fiber qualifies to be labeled and counted as dietary fiber on the food label.”

The case for inulin

Omission of inulin from the May 2016 lists surprised most food ingredient industry observers. It is probably the most studied of all isolated dietary fibers and has well-acknowledged prebiotic properties, an important function of dietary fiber. The inulin that plays such an important role in supplementing a food’s TDF content is extracted from the roots of chicory plants.

Several inulin producers submitted comments in a joint petition to FDA.

“The review [of the joint petition] is still ongoing,” said Scott Turowski, technical sales, Sensus America, Inc., “but we fully anticipate chicory root fiber to gain approval and maintain its status as a dietary fiber.

“A great deal of clinical research has been conducted with chicory root fiber in the area of digestive health, establishing its position as a proven, prebiotic fiber,” he continued. “There is also emerging research that has shown positive indications linking chicory root fiber to improved immune function, an area that will continue to be researched. In addition, research has shown that chicory root fiber consumption can lead to a decrease in daily caloric intake, making it a potential tool in the area of weight management.”

Mr. Peters of Beneo noted another move. “Along with other European inulin producers, we have also submitted a citizen petition on inulin-type fructans.” He expected that FDA analysis would take place over the next few months.

Oliggo-Fiber chicory root fiber (inulin) made by Cosucra in Belgium is distributed by Cargill in the US and Canada. Cosucra is also a participant in the joint petition. “Given the wealth of data on chicory root inulin’s beneficial physiological effects, the major inulin producers and Cargill are confident that the additional information supplied through the citizen petition will aid in the review and approval of inulin as a dietary fiber,” said Pam Stauffer, global marketing programs manager.

 Vegetable, grain isolates

Cereal grains and vegetables qualify as “intrinsic and intact” fiber when used in their whole food form and as flakes, cracked grains, flours and powders. But when further processed to extract their soluble and insoluble carbohydrates, they move into the category of “isolated or synthetic.” Many such fiber additives are offered for their ability to contribute healthy qualities to processed foods.

MGP Ingredients derives its RS4-type resistant starches Fibersym RW and FiberRite RW from wheat. The patented ingredients are based on technology developed at Kansas State University. They fit within the new definition’s requirements for isolated or synthetic non-digestible carbohydrate fiber sources having at least three monomeric units, according to Ody Maningat, PhD, vice-president of R&D and chief science officer. The company submitted a citizen petition for both. “The petition includes supporting evidence demonstrating three beneficial physiological effects in humans. First is lowering total blood cholesterol levels; second, reducing waist circumference and body fat percentage, which can reduce the risk of being overweight or obese; and third, lowering post-prandial glucose levels,” Dr. Maningat said.

Corn, another cereal grain, figures into other fiber additive choices. Soluble corn fiber did not make FDA’s initial cut. Roquette wants to change this and plans to submit for listing. “Only 3% of Americans get the minimum recommended adequate intake of fiber,” Ms. Fratus said. “Given the breadth of scientific evidence supporting the health benefits of soluble corn fiber, we anticipate FDA approval.”

Roquette turns to a variety of plants to create its food ingredients. “Peas, corn and wheat are three main crops we work with to bring ingredients like plant protein, fiber and starch to the food industry,” Ms. Beall said. “Within baking and snacks, Nutriose soluble fiber is used to impart the health benefits of dietary fiber; for sugar, calorie and fat reduction; and to provide excellent taste and texture. All Nutriose soluble fibers are made in France and are non-GMO.”

Citrus fruit — specifically its pulp and peel — are the source for Fiberstar’s portfolio of Citri-Fi fiber additives, noted Kurt Villwock, PhD, director of R&D. “The Citri-Fi 100 series qualifies as dietary fiber according to the new rules,” he said, describing them as meeting intrinsic and intact qualifications. “This product line has been derived solely from a citrus source, with citrus fiber being its only ingredient.”

He described the manufacturing process. “The orange juice pulp raw material (also known as pulp cells, juice vesicles, segment membranes and rag/core) are washed with water, heated, dewatered, sheared, dried, ground and screened to make the finished product,” Dr. Villwock said. “That is, the patented process to manufacture the dry ingredient does not use chemicals to modify or purify it, leaving the fibers essentially in their natural form.”

At Taiyo International, sunflower seed yields Sunfiber, a tasteless, colorless and odorless dietary fiber. Scott Smith, vice-president, noted that this is one of the truly low-calorie fibers, accounting for less than 2 Cal per g. “Sunfiber does fit within FDA’s recently updated definition for dietary fibers,” he said, crediting the large volume of human clinical research that has been performed with it.

There’s no doubt that consumers have a complex relationship with dietary fiber. Currently, they don’t get enough in their daily eating patterns, but it’s a food component that continues to appeal to them. The changes wrought by FDA in the wording and content of the Nutrition Facts Panel may help remedy this under-consumption.

So, even though “Team Total Dietary Fiber” faces a third-and-long situation, the players are taking the right steps through FDA’s petition and comment process to maintain the diverse supply of fiber additive ingredients.