More than 150 industry professionals attended last month's Healthy Baking Seminar in Anaheim, Calif., sponsored by Baking Management and Modern Baking magazines. This year's event included presentations on natural sweeteners and gluten-free baking, and a demonstration on how to formulate bread products using whole and ancient grains.
A panel discussion addressed natural sweetener alternatives for baked products. Larry Blagg, senior vice president, California Raisin Marketing Board; Ania Catalano, chef and author of Baking with Agave Nectar; and Kirk Rossberg, owner of Torrance Bakery, presented the benefits of baking with raisins, agave and honey, respectively. Some facts they shared: the bakery market uses 700 million tons of raisins annually; agave's neutral flavor enhances other ingredients; and honey's high acidity inhibits mold growth.
Attendees also had an opportunity to address industry experts in a more intimate discussion at round robin sessions covering several topics. During the round robins, attendees asked questions about fiber, greening your bakery, egg/dairy replacers, reduced sodium, trans-fat, probiotics and formulating with alternative oils.
Jules Shepard, founder of Jules Gluten-Free, noted that the gluten-free bakery market grew 56 percent in 2007, and gluten-free sales are expected to reach $2.6 billion by 2012. For bakers looking to add gluten-free products, Shepard offered the following advice: segregate gluten ingredients; dedicate areas, utensils and equipment to your gluten-free products; bake the gluten-free items first and only bake them on certain days; package the products in a separate location; and if possible, use a separate facility.
The day ended with a demonstration by Michel Suas, president and founder of the San Francisco Baking Institute. He showed the differences in flour hydrations and in the characteristics of whole grain and ancient grain flours. Attendees also were provided with formulas for several products, including teff miche, Moroccan barley bread and sorghum bread with currants and flax.
April Helliwell, business development manager, The Chia Co., and Katherine Martin, chief editor, Modern Baking, also gave presentations on trends affecting the healthful baking market.
The next Healthy Baking Seminar will be held Oct. 13, 2010, in Boston. For more information, visit www.bakingconferences.com.