With more than $24 billion in sales in 2017, high fiber products are the biggest health-and-wellness segment in baked goods, said Pinar Hosafci, industry manager, packaged food, for Euromonitor. The category is projected to grow at a rate of 4% over the next five years.
“This is an impressive rate in a category that has struggled to maintain volume growth in the past decade and has only recently turned around and set for growth” Ms. Hosafci said. “It is fair to say that consumers today are looking for fiber-rich products more than they ever have, not just in the bakery aisle but across the entire grocery space.“
The demand for high-fiber food is related to the numerous health benefits that such products are touting, including weight management, digestive health, cholesterol reduction and heart health improvement. Ancient grains are the most common and popular form of ingredients used to increase the fiber content of baked foods, primarily bread. This is because many of the ancient grains are naturally gluten-free in addition to being high in omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. Some of the more popular ancient grains, including oats, quinoa and chia, are naturally rich in protein, a trend pervasive across the entire food space.
Beneo offers naturally sourced, fortifying ingredients derived from the chicory root, sugar beet, rice and wheat, adding nutritional, technical and health benefits. Jon Peters, president of Beneo, said the prebiotic inulin and oligofructose fibers are used in a variety of healthy baked foods.
“Thanks to their high solubility, these fibers can be easily formulated in all kinds of bakery products to enhance digestive health benefits,” he said. “They also help to replace sugar in a formulation and are valuable for nutritional profile improvement and reduction of calorie content.”
As a result, Beneo’s fibers enable food manufacturers to produce reduced-fat and lower sugar versions of products like cookies, biscuits or cereal bars while promoting gut health and keeping the impact on blood glucose levels to a minimum.
The demand for processed foods is exceptionally high in faster-paced, developed countries. Convenience is a key consideration among many consumers who are less concerned with nutrition intake, said Jaizel Castillo, application specialist, bakery, for DuPont Nutrition & Health. Led by this trend, manufacturers are creating concepts fortified with nutrients needed by our bodies.
“Vitamins and minerals, proteins, and fibers are the common means of fortification in all sorts of bakery products — breads, cakes, biscuits, cookies,” Ms. Castillo said. Litesse polydextrose is a soluble fiber that is positioned as a fiber, prebiotic and specialty carbohydrate for satiety and weight management. It allows for more concept developments that satisfy cravings for indulgence and nutrition at the same time, she added.
While consumers may be looking to pack more nutritional ingredients into their baked foods, they also are looking to reduce calorie intake. Formulators can balance those impulses through fiber fortification.
MGP Ingredients’ RW, a RS4-type resistant wheat starch and a source of dietary fiber, not only boosts fiber content of bakery products but also imparts crispiness attributes to snack crackers, sugar snap cookies and pizza crusts, among others. A second RS4-type resistant wheat starch in pregelatinized form, FiberRite RW, exhibits dual functionality of fortifying bakery products with fiber, while partially replacing fat such as in puff pastries, cake muffins, cinnamon rolls, brownies, sugar snap cookies and cake icings.
“Fibersym and FiberRite also reduce caloric counts of bakery products and are highly compatible with wheat-based products exhibiting ease of use during processing and providing excellent finished product quality scores in terms of texture, taste, appearance, volume and aroma,” said Ody Maningat, Ph.D., vice-president of ingredients R.&D. and chief science officer for MGP. “Both are Non-GMO Project verified and labeled as modified wheat starch.”