In a tough economy, bakers are looking for ways to offer what consumers want, and healthful products continue to be a growing trend. Healthy Baking Seminar West (HBS), held last month in Anaheim, Calif., provided nearly 120 bakers, researchers and technicians with the latest studies and developments in this market. Several ingredient suppliers were on hand as well to discuss healthful baking ingredient alternatives with attendees.
New to HBS this year were the round robin breakout sessions. Attendees circulated among several tables, where experts presided over specialized topics and responded to questions. Some of the most popular topics included organic/natural, whole wheat/specialty flours and gluten-free/allergen concerns.
Paula Frank, chief editor of Baking Management, presented the American Dietetic Association's findings on its study of consumer attitudes and trends on food and nutrition. Since 1991, the association has surveyed consumers regularly, and the latest survey was conducted from February to March 2008. The most recent involved 783 Americans from across the nation, ages 18 and older. Some of the findings included:
The importance of diet increased as Americans aged or were more highly educated
The importance of exercise increased with age
On a scale from 1 (least knowledge) to 5 (most knowledge), Americans had the most knowledge of the low-fat ingredient category (4.2) and the least knowledge of probiotics (1.9)
In the last five years, Americans have increased consumption of low-fat foods by 48 percent, low carb foods by 27 percent and allergen-free foods by 8 percent
REDUCE ‘BAD’ FATS
Rajen Mehta, director of fiber applications for SunOpta Ingredients Group>, presented the health benefits of fiber in bakery foods, which include decreased risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. When formulating products with fiber, bakers have to balance the following parameters: regulatory requirements, composition, production process and cost/availability of ingredients, with the most important being the production process. The final product has to taste good, Mehta stressed. For a successful formulation, bakers most likely will have to use a combination of fibers.
HBS also addressed products' nutritional labeling. Brittny Bird, a registered dietitian for Great Harvest Franchising Inc., suggested bakers label their products because customers want more product information, and it also is a great marketing tool. All labels must contain a statement of identity (what the product is), net weight, ingredient list with the ingredients listed from greatest weight to least, an allergens list and the responsible party with contact information.
OUT WITH THE NEW, IN WITH THE OLD
The final session was a demonstration by Klaus Tenbergen, Culinology program director for California State University-Fresno. This question and answer session addressed formulating with raisin paste, rice protein, lupin flour, and soybean shortening and oil.
The next HBS will be held Sept. 23 during Natural Products Expo East in Boston. For more information, visit www.bakingconferences.com.
WHOLESOME INGREDIENTS FOR VIBRANT LIVING
Better bakery products begin with better ingredients, and from ideation to launch, Cargill has the knowledge, capabilities and ingredients needed to create winning bakery products that delight customers. Some of the ingredients showcased at the Healthy Baking Seminar included Clear Valley® oils and shortenings, which offer superior performance and better nutrition. This full line of trans solution oils and shortenings delivers zero trans fat per serving and low levels of saturated fats-without sacrificing flavor or performance.
Cargill 800 323 6232 www.cargill.com
GO ALL NATURAL
What's old is new again, and ConAgra Mills featured its line of ancient grains at the Healthy Baking Seminar. Milled from amaranth, millet, quinoa, sorghum and teff, these ingredients can add excitement and great tasting whole grain nutrition to today's most popular foods-from breads and pizza crusts to cookies and cakes. ConAgra also showcased its Healthy Choice® All-Purpose Flour with Ultragrain®, which offers a 1:1 replacement for white flour for all bakery applications. It is made with 30 percent Ultragrain flour, and bakes and tastes like white flour, but delivers whole grain nutrition.
ConAgra Mills 800 851 9618 www.conagramills.com
Discover raw and wholesome foods for vibrant living available from Earth Family Food. The company displayed a variety of its products at the Healthy Baking Seminar, including cacao beans, nibs, nut butters, goji berries, dried bananas and coconut sugar crystals. One of the company's products, coconut crystal sugar, commonly known as palm sugar, is made from the sap or nectar of the coconut palm tree flower. It has a creamy, caramel sweetness that is perfect for sweets and desserts.
Earth Family Food 877 922 3663 www.earthfamilyfood.com
Natural Products Inc. displayed its line of full-fat and blended soy ingredients. Roasted full fat soy ingredients are made from whole, dehulled soybeans. Roasting the soybeans before milling inactivates the enzymes, stabilizes the fats and results in a pleasant, nutty flavor. Enzyme active soy ingredients are made by using all natural processes while leaving the oil, lecithin and other naturally occurring elements in the flour. Extruder-expelled low fat ingredients remove 65 percent of the fat, raising the protein to more than 48 percent, which produces an excellent, economical high protein ingredient that can be used alone or in conjunction with concentrates or isolates.
Natural Products Inc. 641 236 0852 www.npisoy.com