It makes sense to choose a wheat-based protein to use in a wheat-flour product. The compatibility of wheat protein isolates from MGP Ingredients, Atchison, KS, in bakery applications and their unique properties are detailed by David Whitmer, corporate director of quality, R&D and innovation; Mike Lasater, vice-president of ingredients sales and marketing; and Steve Pickman, spokesperson, in this exclusive Baking & Snack Q&A.

Baking & Snack: What factors should the bakery formulator consider to make the best use of your ingredients in applications and production?

David Whitmer: A key consideration for formulators and producers of wheat-flour-based products is the natural synergy that exists between those products and MGP’s wheat-based proteins. As the result of this relationship, formulators can be relieved of concern about introducing a possible allergen through the use of a non-wheat-based protein. This same synergistic advantage can provide for formulation and blending ease, and reduce the need for processing adjustments during the food production phase. In addition, based on the fact that there is no commercially available genetically modified wheat, manufacturers can be assured that all of the wheat proteins produced by MGP are non-GMO.

What type of protein does your company provide for bakery applications?

Steve Pickman: MGP continues to focus efforts on providing food and beverage manufacturers with ingredient innovations that deliver nutritional, as well as functional and sensory, benefits for a host of applications. These consist of a variety of specialty wheat proteins, as well as specialty wheat starches. Highlighted below are descriptions of MGP’s principal wheat protein ingredient offerings:

Mike Lasater: MGP’s Arise 5000, Arise 6000 and Arise 8000 wheat protein isolates provide many advantages and are especially ideal for inclusion in flour-based products such as bread, pasta and noodles, coatings and pre-dusting agents.

Mr. Whitmer: These [wheat protein isolate] ingredients offer great solutions for creating products that possess enhanced protein quantity and quality. They also contain properties that result in processing benefits that can improve cost efficiencies for bakers. Additionally, the Arise 6000 and Arise 8000 varieties, in particular, provide highly functional, cost-effective replacements for egg-based proteins.

Arise 6000 possesses minimum protein of 85% (N x 6.25, dry basis) and demonstrates exceptional elastic properties. It is effective in increasing dough extensibility, water absorption, bread loaf volume and crumb firmness, while decreasing dough mix time. It also increases the firmness of pasta.


Arise 8000, which features similar benefits, averages a minimum 94% protein (N x 6.25, dry basis). This newest addition to MGP's Arise family of protein isolates also shows enhanced mixing capabilities, along with high viscoelastic properties. Because Arise 8000 is unmodified, it can be labeled "natural."

Mr. Lasater: MGP’s TruTex textured wheat proteins are distinguished by their high protein levels, as well as their uniquely pleasing structural and sensory properties. Traditionally marketed by the company for use in meat enhancement applications and vegetarian products, such as burger-like patties, TruTex can also provide a protein-rich solution for certain types of snack foods and breakfast cereals.

Mr. Lasater: Optein, a lightly hydrolyzed wheat protein, is the newest addition to MGP’s portfolio of value-added nutritional food ingredients. Among the more unique attributes of Optein compared to soy and whey protein are its non-bitter flavor profile and higher glutamine content. The latter has been reported to be effective in the prevention of fatigue and over-training syndrome among active athletes, and replenishment of the body’s glycogen. Other special features and qualities include Optein’s neutral pH content, its ability to increase protein levels in finished products and the fact that it is easily soluble in water and other liquids.

Mr. Whitmer: In bakery applications, Optein reduces mixing time and increases extensibility, which makes it suitable as a replacement for L-cysteine. While L-cysteine has been an effective ingredient in bakery products, its chemical-sounding name, plus its non-plant-based origins, can make it unappealing in various instances. For consumers who adhere to strict vegetarian diets, Optein offers a logical solution for replacing whey protein, which is derived from animal milk.

Mr. Lasater: Other recommended applications for Optein include nutritional and protein drink powder mixes, sports beverages, smoothies, and protein, energy and meal replacement bars.

Mr. Whitmer: A number of studies to test Optein’s performance and substantiate its benefits were arranged by MGP and conducted in collaboration with the Department of Human Nutrition at Kansas State University, Manhattan.

Based on findings, Optein has more than twice the glutamine content of soy and whey. Results also demonstrate that Optein performs as well as soy and whey proteins in regard to easing muscle soreness after exercise. Additionally, tests showed that, after drinking a protein beverage prior to exercising, the blood glucose levels of participants remained in the normal and safe range during and after exercise for each the three different proteins. Likewise, the level of blood lactate, an indicator of exercise stress, was not affected by the drinks containing Optein, nor those made with soy and whey.