How to formulate for gluten-free, part 1

by Laurie Gorton
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Consumers shopping for gluten-free baked foods demand products that taste as good if not better than the wheat-containing originals. That’s not easy to do, but Ingredion’s Dilek Uzunalioglu, PhD, senior associate and bakery and snack team leader for global applications, has advice about using the company’s ground-breaking gluten-free bulk-flour replacers. In this Baking & Snack exclusive Q&A, she also describes clean-label approaches to this difficult formulating challenge.

Baking & Snack: The presence of gluten enables proper kneading, gas retention, finished texture and keeping quality. So, how does the formulator compensate for these functions without using gluten?

Dilek Uzunalioglu, PhD: The use of right starches and flours as bulk flour replacements are critical. The requirements for bread, where functionality of gluten is very critical, are quite different than a cookie or cake application. HOMECRAFT Create GF 10 and 20 flours and Precisa Bake GF replace the wheat flour in the formula and are used as the backbone of the recipe, providing body, improved dough handling and required finished texture. Expandex and clean-label NOVATION starches are used to improve dough handling, final product texture and increase shelf life. Gums and non-gluten proteins are also used in formulations to help with dough handling, color development and texture. The usage levels are optimized to mimic the requirements of the application.

Among Ingredion’s ingredients, which ones do you recommend for gluten-free baked foods? Why?

We recommend HOMECRAFT Create Flours as bulk flour replacements if a clean label is a requirement. HOMECRAFT Create GF 10 is used in batter and dough type products requiring bulking, crumb/grain structure and volume. It provides a soft and smooth texture, good volume and fine homogenous grain/crumb and reduces crumbliness. HOMECRAFT Create GF 20 is used in products requiring sheeting, dough elasticity and chewy texture. It provides smooth and chewy texture, elasticity and reduces crumbliness.

If a clean label is not a requirement, Precisa Bake GF, a bulk flour replacement system, can be used to replace the wheat flour. This is latest addition to our gluten-free portfolio and developed to mimic the functionality of wheat flour, and enhances the ambient shelf life.

 

Expandex is recommended as a texturizer and complements our bulk flour replacements used in gluten-free baking. It improves taste, texture, appearance, and shelf life of gluten-free bakery items while providing structures and textures that resemble wheat-based products. Clean-label NOVATION Native functional starches (for example, NOVATION 1900 and 4600) are also recommended for use in gluten-free formulations, along with bulk flour replacement solutions, to enhance the dough handling, texture and shelf life.

What aspect of gluten-free formulating do users of your ingredients find the most difficult to navigate? Why?

Using the right ingredient and applying necessary formula changes are critical. We provide starting formulations to customers and work with them to hit their target texture and shelf life requirements using our Dial-in Texture approach. By using this approach, we are able to find the right ingredients for their specific needs.

What advice do you have for someone attempting their first gluten-free version of a baked food or snack already in their company’s product line?

The first step is to define process, final texture, shelf life, and nutrition requirements. Defining the requirements will help to identify the right ingredients for the new gluten-free formulation.

Please note that also they need to meet the regulatory requirements. The Food and Drug Administration just set regulatory requirements for labeling gluten-free (Aug. 2, 2013). Here are the requirements:

1) An ingredient that is any type of wheat, rye, barley or crossbreeds of these grains

2) An ingredient derived from these grains and that has not been processed to remove gluten

3) An ingredient derived from these grains and that has been processed to remove gluten, if it results in the food containing 20 or more parts per million (ppm) gluten

For more details, see www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm363069.htm.

To help move from bench to bakery, what do formulators need to know about processing gluten-free doughs made with your ingredients?

Our ingredients are drop-in bulk flour replacements, and we provide an extensive list of formulations for customers to begin with, which will decrease their development time substantially. We design our ingredients to minimize the other formula changes (for example, water level and processing changes). However, they may need to slightly adjust water usage level and processing parameters.

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