Baked goods! They are a staple in everyday life. Nothing can beat eating a fresh baked good right out of the oven. Unless you order it from a café or restaurant, those moments are rare. The Holy Grail in baking is the ability to create bakery foods that keep fresh forever. Yet, the baker’s challenge is meeting that consumer’s expectation especially if they want to tote the bread home. There are ways to maintain bread’s freshness over time. One way is to incorporate a water loving fiber like citrus fiber.
Citri-Fi Fiber Mechanism in Improving Fresh Keeping
Citrus fiber, like Citri-Fi®, contains both insoluble and soluble fiber which has high surface area that holds onto high amounts of water and oil. In bread, the gelatinized starch keeps gluten moist and pliable. Some bakers use chemical emulsifiers that form a complex with the starch to slow down starch retrogradation. This allows the bread to hold onto water a little longer, but eventually the starch lets too much moisture go. Thereafter, gluten becomes tough or brittle. When incorporating Citri-Fi citrus fiber into the bread, the starch still retrogrades, but the citrus fiber catches the moisture and holds it alongside the gluten to keep it moist and pliable. As a result, the citrus fiber helps improve fresh keeping over time.
The Clean Label Fiber Benefit
About 0.3% to 0.8% of Citri-Fi fiber can be mixed in with the dry ingredients to be incorporated into the bread. It is recommended to add one part Citri-Fi to 4 to 7 parts water to the formulation to maintain moisture retention. This natural fiber holds water so well; it can help reduce egg usage in certain formulations which can lead to potential cost savings.
Citri-Fi is produced from citrus fruit byproduct. The patented, chemical-free process opens up the fiber to create the high surface area unlike other citrus fibers on the market. Citri-Fi qualifies under the new FDA fiber guidelines so it contributes fiber to food products. This natural ingredient can be labeled as citrus fiber, dried citrus pulp or citrus flour which resonates well in the clean label markets unlike starches, gums and chemical emulsifiers. Citri-Fi is non-GMO and allergen-free which makes it ideal in gluten-free formulations.
Author — Jennifer Stephens (VP of Marketing)