While formulators have typically relied on ingredients such as flour, oats, barley and nuts to heighten an item’s fiber count, the introduction of high resistant starch wheat flour provides a practical way to ramp up the digestive benefits of a variety of baked foods.

At the International Bakery Industry Exposition (IBIE), to be held Sept. 7-11, with an education-only day on Sept. 7, Harold Ward, director of technical service and product applications at Bay State Milling, will discuss formulating and processing strategies for high resistant starch wheat flour in an education session during the trade show. 

To get a better understanding of the ingredient’s benefits, Baking & Snack spoke to Mr. Ward about its capabilities.

Baking & Snack: What is high resistant starch wheat flour?

Mr. Ward: High resistant starch wheat flour is flour produced from wheat varieties that contain greater levels of resistant starch. That is, starch that is less susceptible to breakdown by digestive enzymes. Because this starch is a non-digestible carbohydrate, it is considered dietary fiber.

How does high resistant starch wheat flour differ from conventional wheat flour?

Mr. Ward: Common wheat varieties contain starch that is typically 25% amylose and 75% amylopectin. The amylose and amylopectin starch molecules are arranged in a fashion that allows digestive enzymes to easily complex with them and break them down into simpler carbohydrates for use by the body. 

Wheat varieties utilized in high resistant starch wheat flour, like Bay State Milling’s HealthSense product line, have nearly three times the level of amylose than common wheat varieties. As a result, the starch matrix is much less susceptible to the action of digestive enzymes and acts as dietary fiber in the digestive system.

What functional benefits can it offer bakers?

Mr. Ward: The great thing about high resistant starch wheat flour is that it allows bakers to produce products that are high in fiber without adding fiber from other sources to their formulas. Bay State’s HealthSense flour delivers a minimum of 25% dietary fiber in refined flour, compared to less than 3% in refined flour from common wheat, all while meeting the F.D.A.’s “intrinsic and intact” definition of dietary fiber.

Are there any formulating challenges associated with the ingredient?

Mr. Ward: When using high resistant starch wheat flour, being aware of the need for water and changes in dough development /strengthening requirements is important. In general, high resistant starch wheat flour requires increased absorption levels relative to common wheat flour. We have found through work done at Bay State Milling’s Grain Essential Center and in production facilities that the need for formula and process changes is very application dependent. Some applications may require steps to strengthen and optimally develop the dough’s gluten matrix while others do not.

What nutritional benefits can high resistant starch wheat flour offer consumers?

Mr. Ward: The nutritional benefit from high resistant starch wheat flour relative to common wheat flour is the increased level of total dietary fiber.  Dietary fiber plays an essential role in maintaining and improving metabolic and cardiovascular health. High resistant starch wheat flour like HealthSense makes it easier for consumers to increase their intake of total dietary fiber without compromising on taste and texture.

The education session From Flour to Finished Product: Formulating with High Resistant Starch Wheat Flour takes place Sept. 8 during IBIE. To register for this event, click here.