Cookie production
Bakers have reduced sugar, sodium and more in cookies. Now they're focusing on taste.

KANSAS CITY — Bakers have had success reducing sodium, sugar, fat and chemical-sounding ingredients over the past few years, but now they may wish to focus on increasing another element — taste.

Ryan Smith, Kerry
Ryan Smith, vice-president and general manager of bakery for Kerry Americas Region

“What a great job we did as an industry,” said Ryan Smith, vice-president and general manager of bakery for Kerry Americas Region, a taste and nutrition company. “We reacted quickly. You can see the last 10, 13, 14 years. You can see how hard we’ve all worked to go out and respond to the consumers.”

Often leaving ingredient lists were DATEM, sodium stearoyl lactylate (SSL), calcium propionate and mono- and diglycerides.

“But somewhere along the way, we forgot about the world of taste,” Mr. Smith said at the recent American Society of Baking’s BakingTech 2017 in Chicago.

Reduced sugar cookies
Sugar modulator systems have improved for sugar-reduced cookies.

Food formulators should know all the ingredients (some new to industry) that may assist in adding back taste. He gave sugar-reduced cookies as an example. Sugar modulator systems have improved, such as stevia extracts being paired with flavor modulators.

“They are really different than what was being formulated in the past,” Mr. Smith said. “They are much more effective.”

Also in reduced-sugar cookie applications, emulsifiers void of partially hydrogenated oils are available. Soluble fibers may build back bulk, viscosity and mouthfeel. Of clean label, he added, “Don’t think about it anymore as a destination.”