Bakers not only add fiber to boost a product's nutritional content, but many add it to influence processing.

Chicory root fibers, both inulin and oligofructose, may help bakers improve a product’s nutritional profile by reducing sugar, fat and calories. Chicory root fibers are also clinically proven and scientifically recognized prebiotics, and they support a balanced blood sugar level.

“Being soluble and having a mild sweet taste, chicory fibers are easily incorporated into a wide range of bakery and cereal products, while maintaining, or even improving, taste and texture,” said Anke Sentko, vice-president of regulatory affairs and nutrition communication, Beneo.

Additionally, chicory root fibers assist products such as chewy bars, cookies and snacks by maintaining softness over time.

“Chicory root fiber inulin is a humectant, so it helps in the texture and eating qualities of all baked goods,” said Carl Volz, president, Sensus America, Inc. “Because of this, it also helps with shelf life. You can start by replacing sugar with chicory root fiber inulin at a one-to-one rate. Powders and liquid syrups are available.”

Ingredion, Inc. manufactures short-chain fructooligosaccharide (scFOS) prebiotic fiber. The fiber may be used in baking and extrusion processes but only in chemically leavened doughs as yeast uses scFOS as a food source.

“Because it is made from sucrose, it has a clean, slightly sweet flavor and performs similarly to sugar at typical inclusion levels,” said Patrick Luchsinger, marketing manager, nutrition, Ingredion. “It can help with sugar reduction and as a flavor modulator when using other sweeteners.”

The company also manufactures a proprietary high-amylose maize-resistant starch. Derived from high-amylose corn, this resistant starch assists with blood sugar management and glycemic health. In late 2016, the Food and Drug Administration authorized a qualified health claim for Ingredion’s high-amylose maize starch, citing limited evidence that it may reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes. The starch has a neutral taste and white appearance with a small particle size, minimizing the impact on taste. Its low-water holding capacity is critical when processing doughs and batters.

“As a substitute for flour, it does not change handling characteristics during processing,” Mr. Luchsinger said. “It has been shown to improve yield in bread, provide higher crumb moisture content in cookies and contribute desirable crispiness to sheeted baked goods.”

MGP Ingredients offers two resistant starch fiber ingredients derived from wheat flour using patented technology.

“One of the ingredients is suited for enhancing the fiber content or reducing the caloric counts of food products,” said Ody Maningat, vice-president of ingredients, R.&D. and chief science officer, MGPI. “It also imparts crispiness or textured crumb to extruded breakfast cereals and snacks. The other acts as a total or partial fat replacer in bakery products, in addition to fiber fortification and caloric reduction.” Both are labeled “modified wheat starch.”

This article is an excerpt from the March 2019 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the entire feature on fiber, click here.