Bakers and snack manufacturers can expect to see many trends this year in the ingredient replacements, pre-mixes and dough conditioners they use, mostly due to consumer demand for better-for-you products with clean labels and no genetically modified organisms (GMOs). As 2014 progresses, they may also see more ingredient manufacturers making replacements for trans-fats, as mandated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).


Salty and sweet

One of the top trends in alternative ingredients is replacing salt to achieve lower sodium levels. With that, ICL Food Specialties, St. Louis, has created Salona, a sea salt that replaces sodium chloride. “Salona is used as a partial replacement for sodium chloride or a total replacement for potassium chloride in food and beverage products,” states Nancy Stachiw, director of applications and technical service. “Salona can be used to deliver baked goods that are reduced in sodium, yet still have an acceptable flavor profile and target characteristics like texture and volume.” In addition to allowing a 25-50% replacement of sodium chloride, Salona is a natural product that can help manufacturers achieve a clean label.

ICL Food Specialties also produces Levona, a family of zero-sodium, calcium-rich leavening acids that can help reduce sodium in bakery products. “The primary leavening agent that Levona is used to replace is sodium acid pyrophosphate (SAPP),” explains Stachiw. “Like SAPP, which is made with different reaction rates to deliver leavening in the baking process when needed, Levona is also made with varying rates of reaction. The two most common leavening agents are Levona Brio, which is like SAPP 28, ideal for a broad range of applications, and Levona Opus, which is like SAPP RD1, a stable, delayed-reaction rate, to allow for wholesale manufacturing with extended process times.”

Nita Livvix, director of research and development at Clabber Girl Corp., Terra Haute, Ind., says that “sodium reduction is a hot topic that can be addressed through a change of leavening acids to ingredients containing calcium.”

Clabber Girl’s calcium-based leavening products include sodium-free and reduced-sodium baking powders. “Clabber Girl supports sodium reduction with Innovafree Sodium Free Baking Powder (industrial) and Rumford Reduced Sodium Baking Powder (retail),” she adds.

Currently, the company has products containing calcium compounds in development, according to Livvix. “Calcium acts as a dough conditioner and pH adjuster, and can also provide nutrients for yeast,” she explains, adding that these products have potential use in organic products and are a good choice for use in tortillas and pancakes. “Potential benefits [to bakers and snack producers] could be substantial savings, as well as improved product performance.”

Another company helping snack and bakery manufacturers reduce sodium in their products is DuPont Nutrition and Health. The New Century, Kan.-based company has created Salt Pro, which helps reduce sodium content and allows manufacturers to label a product as reduced-salt.

DuPont’s Litesse is a polydextrose used for reducing sugar content. “Litesse reduces sugar, which improves labeling, gives a caloric advantage, increases fiber and produces a prebiotic affect,” states Troy Boutte, Ph.D., group manager for bakery and fats and oils innovation. Litesse can be used in a variety of products including bakery, confectionery, frozen desserts and fruit applications.

Tate & Lyle, Hoffman Estates, Ill., recognizes the trend in both reduced-sugar and reduced-sodium products. “Interest in health and wellness is driving product formulations that incorporate calorie reduction for weight management,” says Rheem Lock, senior product manager of sweeteners. “As the healthy, better-for-you trend continues, the demand for flavorful, reduced-sugar and reduced-calorie products increases.”

One sugar-reduction product with which many consumers and manufacturers are familiar is Tate & Lyle’s SPLENDA Sucralose. “SPLENDA Sucralose is a no-calorie, high-intensity sweetener that starts with sugar, tastes like sugar, but is not sugar,” states Lock. “Sucralose is approximately 600 times sweeter than sugar, but has no calories. SPLENDA Sucralose is process- and shelf-stable, which means it retains its sweetness during commonly used food-manufacturing processes and throughout the shelf life of a product.”

Tate & Lyle also creates TASTEVA Stevia Sweetener and PUREFRUIT Monk Fruit Extract, both of which can be used in baked goods. “TASTEVA Stevia Sweetener provides zero-calorie sweetness and yields 50% greater sugar reduction levels, depending on the application,” says Lock. “PUREFRUIT Monk Fruit Extract is a revolutionary, all-natural, zero-calorie sweetener derived from monk fruit. It can reduce sugar in foods and beverages up to 100%.”

Tate & Lyle also offers products like SODA-LO Salt Microspheres, a salt-reduction ingredient that can reduce salt in certain foods by up to 50%. “SODA-LO is made through a proprietary technology that turns standard salt crystals into free-flowing crystalline microspheres,” Lock explains. “The smaller crystals optimize saltiness perception in foods by maximizing surface area relative to volume. SODA-LO makes it possible to enjoy clean salt flavor while consuming lower levels of sodium.”

One sugar-replacement ingredient from Glanbia Nutritionals, Twin Falls, Idaho, is OptiSol 2000. The milk-protein concentrate facilitates the reduction of sugar by up to 50% in products such as chewy granola bars, baked bars and snack bars. “Incorporating OptiSol into these products has demonstrated its ability to maintain the same appearance, flavor and texture satisfaction of standard, full-sugar products,” says Nicole Rees, business development manager. “The ingredient allows for efficient formulation without the higher costs associated with alternative emulsifying agents containing high levels of sugar.”

Some bakers are turning to a centuries-old ingredient to replace sugar in their products—malted barley. “Malted Barley Extract (syrup) replaces sugar at a ratio of three-fours,” says Judie Giebel, a technical services representative and American Institute of Baking (AIB) certified baker at Briess Malt & Ingredients Co., Chilton, Wis. “So 12 oz. of Malted Barley Extract replaces 16 oz. of sugar. Liquids must be reduced at a ratio of one-fourth.”  

But as today’s consumers seek new food experiences, many bakers are discovering malt’s other contributions to yeast-raised and chemically leavened baked goods. “Malt is beneficial to both types because it comes in two forms, diastatic and nondiastatic,” explains Giebel. “Diastatic malt is made from whole grain barley malt that has been dried gently at low heat to keep all of the enzymes alive. Because it has active enzymes, diastatic malt can break down starches and create finer and softer texture in baked goods. This helps to keep the baked goods moister, in return extending the shelf life. In yeast-raised recipes, diastatic malt also replaces sugar to feed yeast and brown crusts.

“Nondiastatic malt extract is malted barley that has been naturally converted to a sweetener using its own enzymes to convert the starches to sugars. This product has no active enzymes and will not break down the dough matrix. Malted barley extract provides nutrients for the yeast, additional flavor and the sugar needed to give yeast its starting boost.”

According to Giebel, several popular baked goods benefit from diastatic Malted Barley Flour. In artisan breads, it functions as a yeast enhancer and browning agent. In multigrain breads, it masks some of the grainy flavor notes, browns the crust, softens the dough and aids fermentation. Nondiastatic Malted Barley Extract adds flavor to and gives muffins a softer, moister texture. In bagels, it adds flavor and color when added to the dough and develops a chewy exterior when boiled in a malt extract wash. Pizza crust manufacturers, too, are adding either style of malt to crusts, especially for browning and flavor. 

Malt also enables manufacturers to achieve a clean label as well as remove high fructose corn syrup from a label, two other growing consumer trends. 

Hold the eggs

Ingredients like eggs can be subject to market-price fluctuations, which impacts bakers’ and snack manufacturers’ production costs. Additionally, dairy and egg allergies are a common concern among consumers. Glanbia Nutritionals has a product to address both these issues, states Rees.

“OptiSol 3000 provides a cost-effective alternative to eggs, which can be subject to fluctuating prices,” she says. “Used as a replacement for egg in baked goods, OptiSol 3000 is ideal for consumers who suffer from dairy allergies. As an all-natural ingredient, it meets the criteria for a clean-label declaration with manufacturers listing it as flaxseed and whey protein concentrate. This cost-effective alternative does not compromise sensory, textural or quality characteristics of baked goods.”

Additionally, OptiSol 3000 contains as much protein as an egg and provides added alpha lipoic acid (ALA) and Omega 3 benefits and cholesterol-free claims. “Consumers are becoming increasingly conscious about their health and regular[ly] monitor the contents of the products they eat and drink,” states Rees. “Additionally, the free-from sector…is a flourishing area for innovation.”

LaCrosse, Wis.-based Agropur Ingredients creates whole, white and yolk-egg alternatives. “We look at what type of ingredient needs to be replaced, what purpose or place that ingredient occupies in the overall formulation, what benefits or contributions does the alternative we’re evaluating impart onto the specified applications, what other targets or objectives the customer wants to meet with this alternative and what do we have to work with to accomplish these,” says Phil Blanchard, sales manager of the bakery division.

One of Agropur’s latest ingredients that went through that rigorous consideration is BakiGen 1611, a liquid whole-egg alternative. BakiGen 1611 offers cost savings for the customer, doesn’t need to be refrigerated and can be applied to products developed for markets with egg allergens. “The egg white powder market is currently trending high, and we see it going even higher,” says Blanchard. “Both dairy- and cellulose-based alternatives have shown effectiveness in helping manufacturers keep their product quality consistent and meet overall price objectives.”

Creating an adaptable product is important when it comes to making a replacer for eggs. That’s something Fiberstar Inc., River Falls, Wis., strives for with its Citri-Fi brand.     

“Our product is quite versatile and offers unique functionality in its ability to tightly bind and retain moisture through the baking process,” states Dale Lindquist, CEO. Citri-Fi is made of citrus fibers, a by-product of juice manufacturing. Not only is it a clean-label ingredient, it also can successfully replace up to 50% of oil or fat and up to 30% of liquid or dried eggs in baked goods.

“As a result of the water-binding and emulsification properties of our product, Citri-Fi offers unique solutions to the issues that bakers face around the world—cost, healthfulness, stable quality through the shelf life, clean label and natural appeal without sacrificing the taste, texture and flavor of the finished product,” says Lindquist, adding that the ingredient is also used by gluten-free bakeries to improve taste.

Saying ‘no’ to GMOs

Creating a nonGMO ingredient is a big challenge for ingredient manufacturers as it

becomes more of a consideration for customers. Penford Food Ingredients, Centennial, Colo., addresses those concerns with its PenTech NG and PenNovo 00 egg replacers.

“PenNovo 00 is a nonGMO, potato-based egg-wash replacer for bakery applications such as bakery crusts, breads and rolls and puff pastry,” states Dr. Sarah Wood, senior application scientist. “PenTech NG is a non-allergenic blend used to replace liquid and/or dry whole eggs and/or egg yolks in baked applications like cakes and muffins. This blend maintains volume and retains moisture as well as provides cost savings when extending egg components.” PenTech NG also allows for lower cholesterol and calories in products, giving manufacturers more flexibility and better labeling options.

Penford’s nonGMO ingredients go beyond just egg replacers, though. “Due to the growing need for nonGMO ingredients, Penford also offers PenNovo MD,” says Wood. “This nonGMO, potato-based maltodextrin line comes in various DE levels, which can replace genetically modified malodextrins used in the baked goods and snack category as a bulking agent and flavor carrier.”

Other offerings from Penford are PenFibe RS and PenFibe CW, nonGMO, potato-based fibers, and PenFibe CW, a nonGMO, clean-label, white-corn based fiber.

Wood states that the GMO concern drives the development and procurement of nonGMO ingredient sources among manufacturers. Penford’s nonGMO starches come in both clean label and modified forms, as the company strives to be a one-stop shop for nonGMO ingredients.

NonGMO is something that Roquette, Geneva, Ill., recognizes and boasts for its egg replacer, High Lipid Algal Flour. “Roquette’s microalgae High Lipid Algal Flour is a new renewable whole-food ingredient,” says Valerie Le Bihan, Roquette’s global microalgae products manager. “Multicomponent and hence multifunctional, this innovation is an astonishing alternative to fat/oil and eggs. The bakery applications possibilities with this ingredient are wide.”

High Lipid Algal Flour can be used in breads, cakes, muffins and soft cookies and allows manufacturers to make a product that is low in fat and calories without sacrificing flavor or texture, according to the company. The product is also clean-label, another growing trend in ingredients. “Consumers increasingly focus on ingredients that are easy to relate to,” says Le Bihan. “In this area, our proteins, fibers, bulk sugar replacers and recently microalgae are used to create products with improved nutritional value.”

NonGMO offerings can also be found in the inclusion sector and many of the particulate and inclusion alternatives made by QualiTech, Chaska, Minn. “Our products address the dietary trends of consumers’ needs and wants of nonGMO, organic, all-natural, no trans-fat, gluten-free, whole-grain, reduced-sugar or sodium levels, higher protein or fiber content,” states Denise Radke, marketing manager.

QualiTech’s particulate and inclusion alternatives to fruit and vegetable ingredients enable manufacturers to set consistent prices in their products as they’re not as reliant on fluctuating fruit and vegetable market prices. The company also creates organic and kosher-certified versions of its inclusions and particulates, which may not be nonGMO, but still offer greater ingredient flexibility to manufacturers based on their needs.

“QualiTech transforms ideas into solutions for flavor, color and texture in bakery goods, snack foods, breakfast foods and more,” says Radke. “Our standard and customized inclusions and particulates may also serve as delivery systems for unique ingredients like Omega 3s, fiber, fruit content, nutraceuticals and proteins.”

Staying clean

Making a clean-label product is important to many bakers and snack manufacturers, and ingredient suppliers are definitely following their lead. Naturex Inc., South Hackensack, N.J., has made clean-label products a large focus of its offerings. Its natural flour improving agent is made of acerola cherry powder and can be used as a substitute for ascorbic acid.

“Acerola cherry powders, when used in substitution of ascorbic acid, not only provide the same technological benefits, but also complement the end product’s image and nutritional profile since they actually increase the fruit content,” says Baptiste Demur, business manager.

The company’s Oxy’Block and StabilEnhance products are made with a blend of rosemary extracts. They can be used as a substitution for phenolic chemical antioxidants and tocopherols.

 “Clean label, once a trend in the industry, is now becoming a mandate in new product development,” says Jim Bohrer, senior vice president, technical sales and support, AB Mauri North America, Wilsonville, Ore. “Replacing chemical oxidizers, emulsifiers and DATEM [diacetyl tartaric acid esters of monodiglycerides] makes baked products more label-friendly to the consumer.”

To that end, AB Mauri offers enzyme systems that let bakers and snack manufacturers replace emulsifiers and azodicarbonamide (ADA) and remove or reduce gluten from products. It also develops enzyme systems that enable producers to more easily achieve GMO-free goals. 

AB Mauri’s products for frozen dough manufacturing improve stability in these systems with significant improvement in reliability and quality. Its new Supremo Tortilla System, for instance, allows tortilla manufacturers to tailor their products to make tortillas with specific attributes, such as with less sodium, fat and calories.

Bohrer says that the FDA’s proposed ban on trans-fats and issues surrounding GMO are concerns the company is keeping “a close eye on. Chemical additives will become a hot topic, and we need to continue to develop alternative ingredients as viable replacements.”

Blocking trans-fats

Not surprisingly, the recent FDA-proposed ban on trans-fats once had many ingredient suppliers scrambling to create replacements to suit customers’ needs. Palsgaard, Morris Plains, N.J., isn’t one of those suppliers, however.

“Trans-fatty acids are getting increasingly unpopular, and as partly hydrogenated fats typically are used as carriers for emulsifiers in cakes, this is an obvious one to target,” states Arne Pedersen, product and application manager, in reference to Palsgaard’s Emulpals solutions, which are used to replace shortening/emulsifiers typically found in baking products and can help reduce saturated fats. 

Trans-fat replacers from Bunge Oils, Bradley, Ill. include alternative solutions for almost all, if not every, fat or shortening being used in baked goods and snack products today, according to Dilip Nakhasi, director of innovation.  Bunge’s no-hydrogenation low-saturate (NHLS) technology allows for a 40-60% reduction in saturates in baked goods. Its latest product, UltraBlends 148 All Purpose Shortening, is made from non-lipid ingredients, making it a no-cholesterol product.

Bunge Oils also offers a variety of blending solutions to replace partially hydrogenated vegetable oils or shortenings that are high in trans-fats or saturates and enzymatic solutions that allow manufacturers to reduce or remove trans-fats from the ingredient label.

Get into condition

Not surprisingly, makers of dough conditioners and pre-mixes also are receiving requests from bakers and snack manufacturers for ingredients to help them make products that address a variety of consumer trends, including clean labels, reduced sodium and more healthful formulations.

“Cleaner labels are important for a lot of consumers,” says Liesbet Vandepoel, product manager, bakery mixes and improvers, for Puratos Corp., Cherry Hill, N.J. “They want to recognize the ingredients that are in their food products. We take this consumer request into account when formulating new [dough] improvers and mixes.”

The company’s dough conditioners range consists of all-purpose improvers for direct and overnight processes, conditioners developed especially for frozen baking processes and conditioners for bagels and whole-wheat breads.

Puratos’ bakery mixes, meanwhile, use its latest enzyme and flavor technologies, where appropriate. “Every type of bread has specific characteristics that need to be fulfilled, so we create mixes that will help to develop a product with the right taste and texture,” Vandepoel explains. “It provides our customers the convenience of less scaling and exact costing, resulting in complete peace of mind. We offer a range of mixes that can help customers make different styles of breads, going from soft hamburger buns to artisan style loaves [and] from German rye bread to the popular Hispanic conchas.”

One of Puratos’ latest technologies is in the area of bread texture. “A consumer study revealed that specific texture features were clearly preferred by the U.S. consumer, but also that the preferred texture varies by region and on whether the consumer eats white or wheat bread,” Vandepoel says. “There are different ways to influence bread texture: Ingredients, baking process and specific texture solutions. At Puratos, we created a range of modular functional ingredients to influence texture—our Intens range.”

Based on the company’s latest enzyme technologies, Intens enables bakers to differentiate the texture of products in terms of short bite, softness, moistness and resiliency, Vandepoel says. The solutions can be used on top of bakers’ existing formulas, allowing them to change one specific characteristic without reformulating the entire recipe. They can also combine systems to customize the required texture.

Tom McCurry, executive vice president, sales and marketing, and partner, Cain Food Industries Inc., Dallas, cites enzyme systems as a food trend likely to influence the development of dough conditioners. “There are many more enzyme systems [in development] that will solve all sorts of issues and drive growth in areas we don’t even know about yet,” he says.

In addition to enzymes, Cain Food’s product line features dough conditioners and improvers, reducing and oxidizing agents, bromate alternatives and replacements, emulsifiers and softeners, yeast foods, enrichments, tortilla bases, preservatives and other specialty products. Its ingredients are used in a variety of products, from traditional pan breads and rolls to tortillas and ethnic products, such as naan and lavash. 

Cain Food also offers products designed to clean up labels: TRU-CL can be used to remove azodicarbonamide (ADA) sodium stearoyl lactylates (SSL), calcium stearoyl lactylates (CSL), DATEM and combinations of those items. CL-Freeze offers the same abilities as TRU-CL for frozen dough. MDR Alpha helps reduce or remove monoglycerides and diglycerides without giving up product quality, and it comes in a more user-friendly powder.

“Right now, a lot of people see cost as the biggest impediment to cleaning up labels,” McCurry says. “However, we have proved time and again that it can be done through a combination of great technology, inspired baking and selling of products that fill the need—functional ingredients only, at use levels of under 2%—not bloated bases carrying unneeded cost.”

Cain Food’s dough conditioners are designed to reduce sodium in grain-based foods, another growing consumer trend. The company’s Xalt line uses Nu-Tek Food Science’s Nu-Tek Salt Advanced Formula Potassium Chloride to cut sodium by 33-50% in buns, rolls, tortillas, English muffins and more, says McCurry.

“I can’t tell you if the government or the consumer will drive the demand for lower-sodium baked goods, but I can tell you it is going to happen and probably sooner rather than later,” he states. “So, we need to be mindful of creating products…that work toward that goal.”

Trey Muller-Thym, vice president of Thymly Products Inc. in Colora, Md., says that his company sees a continued push toward sodium reduction as well as gluten-free. “Our sodium-free baking powder continues to grow in popularity,” he says. “It started in Canada, and now is starting to really grow in U.S.”

Thymly offers a wide range of dough conditioners, as well as food-grade chemicals, grain mixes, starches and more. Its newest dough conditioner, Tsl8, is designed to extend the crumb shelf life in baked goods. “It works using three different technologies—enzymes, monoglycerides and diglycerides, and hydrocolloids,” explains Muller-Thym. “We have found that by combining all three of these approaches, we get a synergistic effect that ultimately gives the baker a much longer [product] shelf life.”  

Like other ingredient manufacturers, Thymly is also seeing more customer interest in clean labels. “Many of our conditioners are enzyme-based, which gives a clean label free of allergens,” says Muller-Thym. Other common customer requests are for increased dough strength and extended product shelf life.

Streamwood, Ill.-based Brolite Products Inc., which offers dough improvers, bases, mixes, stabilizers, grain blends and other products, recently introduced two new clean-label dough conditioners: Natural 1 and SSL replacer. The first is a 1% clean-label product intended primarily for breads and rolls. “Because this is a clean-label item, [bakers] can eliminate DATEMs, SSL and ADA,” says Ken Skrzypiec, eastern vice president of sales. “It gives you all the functionality of what I would call a more traditional dough conditioner.”

On the market for four months, Brolite’s SSL replacer replaces SSL one-for-one. Also a clean-label item, it can be used “in anything where the baker is looking for a little bit of extra strength,” says Skrzypiec. “We have bakers using it in everything from cakes and bread to rolls, buns, Danish and croissants—it really runs the whole gamut.”

Tasty texture

Gum Technology, Tucson, Ariz., offers stawbilizers and blends that can help to provide new textures; restore texture when reducing or eliminating fats, oils and gluten; and provide emulsification and structure in many baked applications, says Daniel Bailey, research and development scientist. “We have developed several blends that work well in gluten-free formulations,” he explains. “Often when gluten is removed from a bakery or snack formulation, the structure and texture of the product is greatly affected. Gum Technology’s stabilizers allow formulators to remove gluten, while still providing all the structure and texture of the original formula….Some of the systems contain hydrocolloids such as xanthan gum, konjac, tara, tapioca flour, rice flour, potato starch, citrus fiber [and so on].”

Reduced-calorie and low-fat recipes often require formulators to remove or decrease the amount of fat and oil in their products. Gum Technology has also developed blends that mimic the texture provided by fats and oils that can be used in many reduced fat applications.

Whether bakers and snack manufacturers are looking to clean up their labels, remove trans-fats from their products or make other improvements to their goods and formulations, they’ll find plenty of new ingredients from which to choose and ingredient manufacturers with which to work.