Nuts in their various powder and flour formats can provide plenty of functionality to baked goods. Olam Food Ingredients now offers nut protein powders, which are manufactured by mechanical pressing of sustainably grown almonds and cashews. The almond protein powder is also a good source of essential micronutrients, including potassium and magnesium. The cashew protein powder is low in carbohydrates and allows for a 50% reduction in added fat in some baked goods.

“Raw or blanched almond protein powder can be used to create moist vegan and gluten-free muffins, with added nutritional credentials,” said J.I.X Antony, vice president of ingredient excellence at Olam. “In combination with wheat flour, almond protein powder can support moisture retention thanks to its fiber content, helping producers avoid the dry, even chalky texture that wheat-free baked goods can often develop.

“When it comes to better-for-you cookies, thins and even rice crackers, cashew nut protein powder’s unique functional qualities allow manufacturers to incorporate high-quality protein without compromising on taste or texture,” he continued. “In gluten-free biscuit or cookie applications, the extra-fine grind contributes toward a melt-in-the-mouth texture that adds an element of permissible indulgence, even in a reduced-fat, high-protein snack.”

EverGrain Ingredients markets two plant-protein ingredients to bakers, both of which include a total of up to 80% fiber and protein sourced from barley, with little remaining starch. As part of the company’s circular food system approach, the ingredients are sourced from barley following the extraction of starches for the brewing process.

“Our sustainability story is one we’re proud of, and a part of what helps us stand out in the plant protein movement,” said Giacomo Cattaneo, EverGrain’s owner. “Today’s consumer is far more discerning, not only considering their individual health when seeking quality ingredients but also the health of our planet.

“This has put more of a spotlight on plant-based protein sources, creating tremendous opportunity for new sources to capture attention,” Mr. Cattaneo said. “Barley is that disruptor, a fresh face in developed categories that are craving innovation.”

In yeast-leavened bread, a barley protein-and-fiber ingredient may contribute to a hearty flavor while also enhancing volume and crumb softness. It has been shown to improve dough workability and machinability by reducing the dough stickiness and increasing shock resistance.

“Low-calorie and low-carb breads benefit from barley fortification as it contributes very few net carbs and offers a predicted low-glycemic index,” Mr. Cattaneo said. “In pizza crust, the barley provides for a rich golden color and improved taste experience.”

Barley’s water-binding properties assist with making better-for-you sweet treats, such as cakes, cookies and muffins. Low carbohydrate and calorie counts, combined with higher protein and fiber, provide permission for the health-conscious consumer to indulge.

This article is an excerpt from the October 2021 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the entire feature on Plant-Based Protein, click here.