Because hydrocolloids substantially reduce the impact of freezing, they help improve finished product attributes for gluten-free baked foods. They also assist in clean-label formulating, according to Troy Boutte, PhD, group manager, bakery/fats and oils, DuPont Nutrition & Health, New Century, KS, in this exclusive Baking & Snack Q&A.

Baking & Snack: With all the market attention to gluten-free baked goods, how can bakers use your gums to improve such products? What do they need to know about formulating gluten-free items with gums? What are the chief concerns and how are they addressed? What gum-based ingredient systems do you offer for this category?

Troy Boutte: Due to various reasons, many gluten-free baked goods are experiencing severe staling. Gluten-free baked goods are often shipped long distances and are often frozen in order to slow staling and mold growth. However, the optimum temperature for starch crystallization, and therefore staling, is 40 degrees F. So, in particular, if the product is frozen slowly, the staling process is accelerated, and the same goes for the thawing process. In addition, many of the gluten-free products are clean label, so many of the standard anti-staling options are not being considered.

Hydrocolloids do significantly reduce the impacts of freezing and are also very useful for products that aren’t frozen. GRINDSTED CMC BAK, GRINDSTED Xanthan and GRINDSTED Guar are a few of the hydrocolloids that DuPont offers for these applications.

These hydrocolloids increase viscosity in the dough, which reduces mobility of water and the gelled starch, and this slows down starch crystallization and staling. In addition, the hydrocolloids will reduce moisture loss during the frozen period, which increases yield and reduces freezer burn. These products are easy to use and are simply added as powders along with other dry ingredients during dough mixing.

Typical usage levels are 0.5 to 0.75%, based on total batch weight. At the higher use levels, a small percentage of water may be added to maintain dough consistency. No other changes are required.

Looking beyond gluten-free, what is the biggest change in use of gums by bakers during the past few years?

In particular, bakeries trying to make clean-label products are having difficulty producing high-quality baked goods with adequate volume, proper texture and adequate shelf life.

Over the last several decades, ingredients such as chemical oxidants, enzymes and emulsifiers have been the main strengthening ingredients used by commercial bakeries. But clean label formulations will often allow only enzymes. So we’re seeing more use of hydrocolloids as part of the strengthening system for these products.

The main DuPont product sold for this application is GRINDSTED BWA, which provides tremendous volume increase and is particularly effective for difficult products such as high-fiber, 100% whole wheat, heavy grain breads and sweet doughs.