Both nutritional and processing benefits occur when using soluble corn fiber in baked foods, according to Courtney Kingery, senior product manager, fibers, Tate & Lyle, Hoffman Estates, IL. She also describes its suitability for gluten-free items in this exclusive Baking & Snack Q&A.

Baking & Snack: What is the difference between intrinsic fiber and added fiber?

Courtney Kingery: Intrinsic fibers are those fibers inherently found in food and beverage ingredients. Added fiber is a supplemental fiber source added to applications by food and beverage manufacturers.

Tate & Lyle’s PROMITOR Soluble Corn Fiber enables manufacturers to add fiber with a clean-label solution, without impacting consumers’ digestive tolerance or compromising great taste, color or texture. PROMITOR Soluble Corn Fiber can supplement intrinsic fiber in foods to reach an FDA “excellent source of fiber” claim per serving or higher without impacting flavor or processing steps. PROMITOR Soluble Corn Fiber also has high solubility, low viscosity and stability in low-pH environments and is easily incorporated into a vast range of applications.

Added fibers are relevant in the marketplace because they deliver health benefits to consumers. In fact, a recent study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health (2014)* shows that an increased intake of fiber, especially cereal fiber, after a heart attack was inversely associated with all-cause mortality.

* Li S, Flint A, Pai JK, Forman JP, Hu FB, Willett WC, et al. Dietary fiber intake and mortality among survivors of myocardial infarction: prospective cohort study. BMJ 2014; 348: g2659.

According to external consumer research conducted by Tate & Lyle (2011), consumers are willing to pay a premium for added fiber across a number of categories including rolls, muffins, bagels and frozen waffles/pancakes.

How compatible is cereal grain fiber with normal bakery formulas? How compatible is cereal grain fiber with gluten-free formulas?

When it comes to baked goods, not all fiber ingredients are created equal. The development of soluble corn fiber is a tremendous leap forward, enabling food companies to add a cereal grain fiber to a variety of bakery products made from white, whole grain or multi-grain flours without impacting taste, texture or volume.

For example, Tate & Lyle’s PROMITOR Soluble Corn Fiber is in many ways superior to inulin, the soluble fiber traditionally used in bakery applications. Unlike inulin, PROMITOR Soluble Corn Fiber is extremely process stable and doesn’t break down through baking and shelf life. Consequently, PROMITOR Soluble Corn Fiber has a lower cost in use because there is no need to overdose the formulation in order to hit specific fiber nutritional targets in the finished product.

With the rise in consumer concern around gluten, food manufacturers are also looking for ways to fortify wheat-free baked goods. PROMITOR Soluble Corn Fiber easily blends with wheat-free flours such as rice, sorghum or soy flours to improve the nutritional characteristics of the product. In addition, PROMITOR Soluble Corn Fiber is made at facilities that do not process wheat, which gives manufacturers confidence in delivering a fully gluten-free product.

How should formulators be thinking of cereal grain fiber differently than they do right now?

Formulators should be thinking of cereal grain fiber uses beyond bar, bread, cold cereal and cookie applications. While these categories represent some of the highest product launches with fiber claims, there are fiber innovations happening beyond breakfast or snack products.

Tate & Lyle works side by side with food and beverage manufacturers to innovate with fiber added to convenience foods that are consumed throughout the day. For example, frozen entrees are a lunch staple for many working professionals. Adding PROMITOR Soluble Corn Fiber to pasta or tortillas used in frozen entrees and making an added fiber claim enables manufacturers to differentiate their entrées in a crowded freezer case without making processing changes.

What potential new applications for cereal grain fibers exist for baked foods and snacks?

When working with PROMITOR Soluble Corn Fiber, manufacturers can increase fiber content in nearly every baking and snack application unlike other fibers that could make products dry, sticky and hard to process at high levels. R&D and marketing teams can work together to understand what their consumers want and then differentiate their products with the appropriate fiber claims.