Tech showcase: Whole grains … and more
April 2, 2012
by Laurie Gorton
Around the world, more than 6,600 different products now carry the Whole Grains Stamp. Developed by the Whole Grains Council (www.wholegrainscouncil.org), the basic stamp alerts consumers that the food contains at least 8 g of whole grains per serving, while the 100% stamp signals that all the grains contained are whole and each serving provides 16 g of whole grains.
With consumer interest in whole grains rising, millers and ingredient suppliers now offer an increasing variety of grain types and formats. Here is a summary of recent ingredient introductions in this category. Most qualify as whole grains, but a few also supplement the fiber content of whole grain foods.
White whole wheat flour
Kansas Diamond white whole wheat flour from ADM Milling gives the nutritional value of whole grains to baked foods while maintaining the mild flavor and smooth texture normally obtained from white refined flour. Kansas Diamond suits the needs of nearly any baking or snack application. The company’s milling process yields a light-colored yet fiber- and protein-rich flour with a pleasant mouthfeel.
Whole grain flours, blends
To provide the nutritional power today’s consumers want, the GrainEssentials line of flours, mixes, bases, concentrates and blends from Bay State Milling encompasses many forms of whole grain ingredients. Choices include single-grain flours and blends that combine white wheat, ground flaxseeds, oats, rye and spelt. Different flours, cuts and flakes create a spectrum of textures, appearances and nutritional values for finished baked foods.
Specialty grain blends, flours
Cargill produces a variety of whole grain and specialty flours. Its joint venture Horizon Milling uses identity-preserved wheat to make its WheatSelect white spring whole wheat white flour. The company is also basic in corn and its MaizeWise line comprises whole grain cornmeal, high-fiber corn bran, corn flour and masa.
Multi-use flours, blends
Whole grain flours and custom blends from ConAgra Mills fit the needs of whole grain baked foods and snacks. Ultragrain 100% whole wheat flour in soft and hard wheat versions gives the taste, texture and appearance of white flour. Sustagrain whole grain barley offers three times the fiber and beta-glucan content of oats. The company’s Ancient Grains (a mix of amaranth, quinoa, millet, sorghum and teff) is certified gluten-free and delivers 15 g of whole grains and 6 g of fiber per serving.
Signature grain blends
Dakota Specialty Milling developed its Signature Blends to meet the technical and aesthetic needs of bakers. Characteristics can be tailored to fit needs ranging from heavy-grained to soft-textured breads. Multigrain, wheatberry, 7- and 12-grain blends, oat, and other styles are offered as flours and toppings. The company also produces toasted and organic forms of its specialty grains.
Grain Millers specializes in whole grains and supplies a broad range of oats and oat-based ingredients. Styles include rolled oats (regular and instant), groats, steel-cut, flakes, bran, crushed and flour. It also offers stabilized oat bran powder and pregelatinized flours as well as oat fiber, hydrocolloids and oat syrup solids. The company’s in-line mixing system creates custom blends.
Grain-, legume-based ingredients
In addition to whole grain rice, buckwheat and corn, Harvest Innovations uses several kinds of pulses and legumes (garbanzo and yellow peas; navy and pinto beans; red and green lentils) to make highly nutritious ingredients. These materials range from grit and meal to 100-mesh flour and fine 325-mesh powders. HI Concentrate 53% soy protein and HIsolate 63% soy protein are made without using hexane. EggOut pea protein replaces egg whites at lower cost.
Calcium-rich corn masa
Soulmaize Bakery introduced by Minsa delivers a fiber-rich, gluten-free option for using masa to make muffins, cakes, pancakes, waffles, cookies, pizza crust, tamales and churros. Masa, aka nixtamalized corn flour, fits formulating needs for gluten-free foods. Corn, from which masa is made, qualifies as a whole grain and carries more dietary fiber than rice or tapioca, the traditional choices for formulating gluten-free baked foods. During preparation of masa, corn cooks in a calcium hydroxide solution, which adds calcium to the finished product, a nutrient not available with plain corn meal or flour.
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Legume flakes, powders
Precooked beans, peas and lentils from SK Food International come in kosher-certified, identity-preserved, organic and conventional non-GM styles. They offer a high-protein alternative to other ingredients that carry gluten and allergen risks. Available in granulations that range from coarse flakes to fine powders, they blend readily with other ingredients and yield consistent quality and performance.
High beta-glucan barley concentrate
Offered as a fine light powder, Barley Balance from SunOpta Ingredients contains more than 25% beta-glucan and 30% total dietary fiber. In addition to supplementing the fiber content of formulations, the barley concentrate forms a soft thermo-reversible gel to give functional advantages such as creamy fat-like texture in reduced-fat baked foods. It also acts as a shelf life extender.
Custom grain clusters
Made with expanded whole grains (crisp rice and other grains such as oats, wheat and barley, among others), customized clusters from Viterra deliver crunchy texture, grain-like appearance and concentrated flavor bursts. The clusters can be enhanced with probiotics, prebiotics, custom flavors, natural colors, fruit pieces, nutmeats and fortification. They can also be made with variable sweetener profiles. Options include kosher and kosher dairy clusters.
Micronized germ, bran blend
Perfect Grain from Watson, Inc. is a concentrated blend of micronized wheat germ and bran that can be used along with a baker’s existing flour supply to create whole grain products. Shown here, a croissant formulated by Watson contains 130 Cal and all the taste, quality and appeal that restaurants and food service operations require as they introduce healthier breakfast options. The blend eliminates the need to inventory two types of flour. Other applications include bread, rolls, muffins, cakes, donuts and pizza crusts.