LAS VEGAS — The International Baking Industry Expo (IBIE) is only a year away, and it’s never too early to start preparations for one of the biggest shows in baking. As bakers begin to think about their IBIE strategy, here are three ingredient trends to keep in mind.
Boosting fiber and protein
Consumers are keen on food that nourishes them; that much is clear from the data, and fiber and protein are two of the top nutrients they are looking for on food labels. Health Focus International data showed that 76% of shoppers are interested in consuming more dietary protein, and 76% of consumers want more fiber in their diets. Mintel’s latest research numbers found that 39% of U.S. consumers say “high fiber” is an important claim in their food and drink purchases, and 40% of U.S. adults trying to lose weight also look for “high fiber” claims.
Consumers’ interest in fiber is a good sign, considering that the Food and Drug Administration has marked it as a nutrient of concern, meaning Americans do not consume enough of it. The F.D.A. also recently expanded its definition of what constitutes as a dietary fiber, diversifying formulators’ toolbox for boosting the fiber content in baked foods.
The protein trend gets an extra boost by consumers’ interest in plant proteins. Seventy-three per cent of shoppers view plant proteins as healthy, according to the International Food Information Council Foundation’s 2017 Annual Food and Health Survey. This protein could come from high-protein grains, pulses or pea proteins — all of which are gaining recognition and traction with health-conscious consumers. The latest developments with these ingredients make them easier to formulate into baked foods.
Reducing the impact of sugar
The F.D.A.’s redesign of the Nutrition Facts Panel will add a new line that is causing the food industry some pause. Added sugars will now be called out below “Total Sugars,” leading some to believe that sugar will be the latest ingredient consumers will avoid.
Health Focus International has found that 40% of shoppers already have decreased their intake in the past two years. Research from the International Food Information Council showed that U.S. shoppers’ opinion of sugar continues to deteriorate. Thirty-two per cent had a more negative opinion of sugars in 2017 as compared to 2016. Of those who use nutrition information — and will likely notice the new “Added Sugars” line — 91% said they were trying to avoid or limit sugars.
These consumer attitudes and impending packaging changes have bakers looking for ways to reduce the sugar content of their finished products without losing any of the finished product characteristics such as texture and taste. Ingredients that can help them reduce sugar and maintain their products’ taste and texture will be a hot topic at IBIE.
Drop-in fat solutions
With partially hydrogenated oils completely off the table and out of formulations, bakers are now looking for more sophisticated fats and oil solutions that can meet all of their needs: improved functionality, sustainable sourcing and cost-effectiveness.
“Now that phos are out of the picture, these new shortenings must compete on their own merit instead of as a pho replacement,” said Frank Flider, consultant, Qualisoy. “Companies are trying to upgrade the shortening’s performance. Early replacements didn’t have all the functionality, and now the new shortenings are a lot better.”
For example, Qualisoy conducted a 12-month shelf life study of interesterified (IE) high oleic soybean and canola, IE conventional soybean and canola, pho and palm bakery shortenings. These shortenings were evaluated for oxidative stability, applicated review and texture analysis. All of the shortenings were able to maintain a similar shelf life, but the IE high oleic soybean shortening exhibited the least amount of change in texture.
As technology and understanding have improved, formulators have been able to develop fats and oils with wide temperature ranges, excellent melting properties and even commercial stability. IBIE is sure to bring fats and oils solutions that not only deliver superior functionality for even the most challenging applications but also are sustainably sourced and cost-effective.