A good performance hits several high notes. In baked foods, visual appeal, texture and taste are all factors to consider creating an eating experience that has many layers. Fabricated inclusions also may be an alternative to nuts to add one layer of depth. They can be made to deliver the look, taste and crunch of nuts without the high cost or allergens, said Dennis Reid, vice-president of business development at Inclusion Technologies.

“We make vegan, kosher savory bits based on either soy or wheat,” Mr. Reid said. “They contain more than 40% plant protein and have a crunchy, umami flavor profile. When used in dried baked goods, they will stay crispy and crunchy.”

Inclusion Technologies also offers allergen-free, ­sugar-based confectionery-type flakes made with a corn-cereal backbone. These inclusions can be made with added whole grain components or even non-G.M.O. with ancient grains replacing the corn cereal component.

“They are mostly designed for topical application,” Mr. Reid said. “But when used internally, the flakes will deliver a marbled-type look with higher distribution in the dough system and more color bleed versus our nuggets.”

Watson, Inc., markets edible glitter flakes in a wide variety of colors. They also may be flavored and shaped. There are bake-stable, fry-stable and freeze/thaw-stable options, as well as soluble and insoluble forms for additional creativity.

“Our original flake line is made with certified colors, while our newer natural line uses colors sourced from nature, such as red cabbage juice, turmeric and radishes,” said Gavin Watson, vice-president of operations, Watson. “We also offer metallic-colored flakes for innovators looking for a product with even more shine and shimmer. These include a mica-based pearlescent pigment. All three glitters hold up well on products with low active moisture, which means you can put it on frostings and baked goods.”

Colored inclusions, such as edible glitter, can be used topically on baked goods to communicate the flavor of the product. Think orange glitter for carrot cake or purple and red circles for berry flavors.

“In addition to providing visual cues, edible glitters can effectively deliver flavors that are difficult to manage in production,” said Mary Watson, senior vice-president of business development, Watson. “Peanut butter-­flavored edible glitter goes great with brownies while delivering an allergen-free peanut flavor.”

To up the wow factor, a flavor change effect can be achieved by incorporating one flavor into Watson’s fast-release glitter and a second flavor into a slow-release glitter, Ms. Watson explained.

When looking to add a showstopping touch to a product, inclusions such as these can be an easy way to get consumers’ attention.