Nutrition researchers increasingly credit protein with aiding satiety to help consumers maintain a healthy weight. Now the challenge is to make baked foods and snack that deliver more fullness and satiety. In this exclusive Q&A, Cheryl Borders, manager, soy foods applications, technical service, edible beans, at ADM Research, Decatur, IL, reveals the role that ingredients derived from soy and edible beans can play in formulating such foods.

Baking & Snack: What prompts the formulation of baked foods and snacks with added protein content? What consumer needs and/or desires are served by this trend?

Cheryl Borders: Manufacturers are looking for various ways to offer consumers better-for-you baked goods and snack foods without sacrificing taste or texture. One approach is to increase the protein and/or fiber content of the finished product. Fiber may help to slow digestion and prolong energy. Slower digestion and prolonged energy release may impact the feeling of fullness or satiety. Protein has been recognized to be an important nutrient in providing satiety, maybe even the most important. Creating baked foods and snacks that deliver more fullness and satiety can be a useful tool to help consumers maintain a healthy weight.

What can non-wheat protein sources bring to formulation of gluten-free products? What is most important in their use? Is it structure forming? Added nutritional value? Or something else?

Gluten-free products are often made using refined flours and starches such as rice, tapioca, potato and corn. These ingredients are often lower in protein and fiber, so the addition of non-wheat sources such as soy proteins or edible bean powders can help improve the nutritional profile of the finished product. The gluten found in wheat, however, has unique elastic properties that provide structure and texture to bake goods. When using non-wheat proteins, gums and gum/starch blends are often used in the formulations to provide structure. Xanthan or guar gum is frequently found in gluten-free baked goods.

What factors should a formulator weigh when choosing an ingredient to supplement the protein content of a baked food or snack?

The challenges faced in developing better-for-you products can vary depending upon the nutritional targets and desired finished product qualities. If a manufacturer wants to increase the protein in a finished product, it is good to compare the protein content of the various options to determine how much of the protein-delivering ingredient would need to be added to reach the target. Also, if listing the % Daily Value or a “good” or “excellent” source of protein claim is desired, the protein quality of the protein ingredient has to be taken into consideration. Some processing revisions may also be necessary. The increased protein usually requires increasing the liquid used in the formulation. It may be necessary to change the order of addition of the ingredients to reduce the amount of added liquids to the formula to avoid a negative effect on texture.

It’s smart to consult with your ingredient supplier to get formulation recommendations. ADM’s application specialists are available to provide technical support, nutritional information and sensory evaluation. Technical support can be provided at the customer’s facility or at ADM’s research center.

What protein supplements does ADM provide for bakery and snack use? And, how do they benefit bakery and/or snack applications?

ADM can offer bakery and snack manufacturers options such as soy proteins and VegeFull cooked edible bean products, specifically powders and grits. Soy proteins are divided into three major categories based on their protein content (mfb) — soy flours (50%), soy concentrates (70%) and isolates (90%). ADM’s soy protein line consists of ProFam and Ardex isolated soy proteins; Arcon functional and standard soy concentrates; Bakers soy flour, refatted flour and toasted grits. The product line is available in standard and identity-preserved versions.

Soy flours have been used for many years in baked goods and can improve crumb structure, crust color and sheeting characteristics. Refatted/lecithinated soy flours can also act as a partial egg replacement. Concentrates and isolates are used for emulsification properties, film forming and a partial replacement of non-fat dry milk (NFDM). The concentrates and isolates can also be used to make extruded snacks and pieces such as soy crisps which are then used in nutritional protein bars or as inclusions. The protein quality of the soy proteins compares favorably to animal proteins such as egg, casein and beef.

In the VegeFull line, the cooked bean powders and grits are finding uses in extruded and sheeted snacks, dips, crackers and gluten-free products. These ingredients offer a way to incorporate vegetables in a non-traditional way as well as providing a significant amount of protein and fiber as compared to traditional cereal grains while being naturally low in sodium and fat. The standard cooked bean powders and grits in the VegeFull line consist of navy, pinto, black and small red beans. Other varieties are available on a made-to-order basis. The edible bean line also offers whole cooked dehydrated beans and bean pieces.

The VegeFull products are easy to use and they work well with other ingredients used in snack production such as cereal grains, starches and other proteins. Depending upon nutritional targets and the desired finished product, VegeFull cooked bean powders can be used up to 100% for extruded snacks and up to 50% in sheeted products.

In baking applications, the flour percentage can be replaced 1:1 with VegeFull bean powder. The recommended starting point is 10 to 30% replacement while adjusting the water as necessary.

In addition, VegeFull products are minimally processed, GMO-free, solvent-free and are not listed as an allergen.