From label requirements to baking with fiber, seminar attendees enjoyed lively discussions on a range of healthful baking topics.
In a tough economy, bakers are looking for ways to offer what consumers want, and healthful foods 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 ingredient alternatives with attendees as they took a break from the presentations.
New to HBS this year were round robin breakout sessions. Attendees were able to circulate among several tables with each table featuring a question and answer format presided over by an expert on the topic. 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. Some of the findings included:
The importance of diet increases as Americans age or are more highly educated
The importance of exercise increases with age
On a scale from 1 to 5 (1 being little knowledge), Americans have the most knowledge of low-fat (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
Rajen Mehta, director of fiber applications for SunOpta, 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 advised. For 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 to know about ingredients, and the labels can be great marketing even for retail bakeries. 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, allergens list and the manufacturer with contact information.
Klaus Tenbergen, Culinology program director for California State University-Fresno, ended the day with a demonstration session on ingredient innovations. He 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 about the upcoming event, visit www.bakingconferences.com.
Better bakery products begin with better ingredients, and from idea to launch, Cargill has the knowledge, capabilities and ingredients you need to create winning bakery products that delight customers. Some of the ingredients showcased at the Healthy Baking Seminar included Clear Valley® oils and shortenings that offer superior performance and better nutrition. This full line of trans solution oils and shortenings delivers zero grams of trans fat per serving and low levels of saturated fats — without sacrificing flavor or performance. If your goal is to remove trans fat, reduce saturated fats or simply get a better flavor or performance, Clear Valley is the clear choice. Call Cargill at 800/323-6232. www.cargill.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. Earth Family Food specializes in providing personal and professional service to suit each customer's needs, such as providing private label services on all of its products. The unique selection of raw foods, super foods and organic foods must meet demanding criteria before they go to market. 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. Call Earth Family Food at 877/922-3663. www.earthfamilyfood.com
What's old is new again, and ConAgra Mills featured its line of ancient grains at the Healthy Baking Seminar. The new line of single ancient grain flours and multi-grain blends unlocks the compelling flavor and nutritional merit of the ancient diet. 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. Call ConAgra Mills at 800/851-9618. www.conagramills.com
Natural Products Inc. displayed its line of full-fat and blended soy ingredients. All the company's ingredients are made from only non-GMO soybeans, and certified organic products are available. Roasted full fat soy ingredients are made from whole, dehulled soybeans, and 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 use the extrusion-expelling process to 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. Call Natural Products Inc. at 641/236-0852. www.npisoy.com