The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s final guidance on dietary fiber has opened the door to new ingredients formulators can use to boost the appeal of bakery products.
Benefitting from this change is Fiberstar, Inc.’s Citri-Fi, a fiber ingredient derived from citrus. To create it, the fibrous material leftover after juicing is washed with only water then run through a process to open the fiber up and increase the surface area.
“The entire native composition is preserved with this simple process, meaning that the native pectin, cellulose and hemi-cellulose are left intact,” said Nesha Zalesny, technical sales manager, Fiberstar. “It is the combination of soluble and insoluble fiber that gives this citrus fiber its unique properties.”
One of those properties is the ingredient’s ability to hold 7 to 10 times its weight in water, as well as the ability to emulsify twice that in oil.
“Because it is the whole fiber of the fruit, it is considered a fiber under the new F.D.A. regulations,” Ms. Zalesny said. “It can be labeled as citrus fiber, dried citrus pulp or citrus flour.”
With its ability to bind water, it can be used to keep cakes and cookies soft and moist over time. This function may help improve the texture and freshness of gluten-free products, too. And its emulsifying properties make citrus fiber a possible egg and oil replacer in baked foods.
“Reducing egg or oil in certain bakery products reduces the moist mouthfeel and, depending on the baked good, can negatively affect the texture and structure,” said Jennifer Stephens, vice-president of marketing at Fiberstar. “Citrus fiber with both insoluble and soluble components holds water tightly to improve the texture of egg- or oil-reduced baked goods over shelf life.”