The baking industry is burgeoning with plenty of better-for-you (BFY) trends, but it’s the keto movement that may prove to have the biggest impact of all of them, said Lin Carson, PhD, chief executive officer of Bakerpedia, at the International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE) 2022.
“It is a necessity to think about keto because, in a year, your buyer is going to reach out and ask if you have anything keto — guaranteed,” she said.
New bakery product launches featuring a “low carb” or “keto” claim grew 22% and 88%, respectively, from 2019 to 2021, Innova Market Insights found. This reflects the rapid expansion of the overall keto market, which is expected to reach $15.8 billion by the end of 2030, growing at a CAGR of 5.65%, according to Market Research Future. Dr. Carson predicted the keto category will soon supersede other popular trends like gluten-free and organic, and eventually will even surpass the white bread market.
At the same time, consumers are increasingly demanding healthy ingredients like fiber, with Global Market Insights predicting the dietary fiber market to exceed $12 billion by 2026. And there is still plenty of room for consumers’ fiber consumption to grow, as less than 3% of Americans consume the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recommended daily intake of dietary fiber.
Bakers have since begun to capitalize on both the keto and high-fiber trends — to great success. San Francisco-based Hero Labs Inc.’s Classic White Bread, for example, made with zero carbs and offering 10 grams of fiber, recently became Amazon’s No. 1 bestseller in the white sandwich bread category. And Irving, Texas-based tortilla makers Mission Foods and Guerrero recently launched zero net carb, high-fiber tortillas.
While dietary fiber is a carbohydrate, it cannot be digested, and therefore does not count toward a baked good’s net carbs, the key number for keto baked goods. Because of this, adding fiber is an effective way for bakers to achieve a keto product and win over health-conscious buyers.
Bakery products are typically high in sugar and carbs that many consumers want to avoid, but there are more options than ever at a baker’s disposal to reduce or fully replace these ingredients while boosting total fiber.
Soluble fibers, for example, can replace the sugar in a baked good. Cargill’s new soluble corn fiber has a minimum 80% fiber content on a dry basis, enabling a “high in fiber” claim.
“At the same time, it supports sugar reduction as a label-friendly bulking agent with half the calories of sugar,” explained McKenna Mills, senior technical services specialist.
Tate & Lyle has also debuted a soluble corn fiber, available in liquid and dry forms and in various fiber levels, adding back the bulk and viscosity of nutritive sweeteners in reduced-sugar products with a clean taste and texture.
Dietary fibers like inulin and oligofructose from chicory root can also serve as bulk sugar replacements in baked goods and reduce net carbohydrates, noted Jamie Matthews, head of customer technical support, North America, Beneo.
“These ingredients carry a mild, natural sweetness while improving the nutritional profile with prebiotic soluble fiber,” he said. “Producers of baked goods can therefore increase the fiber content of their products while at the same time reducing the amount of sugar in the recipe.”
Beneo’s chicory root fibers have only two calories per gram, are non-GMO and capitalize on growing consumer demand for plant-based baked goods.
“As soluble fibers, they’re easily used in many applications, including baked goods,” he said. “With a mild taste, they work well with natural and high-intensity sweeteners. … Functional plant-based ingredients can help create delicious keto-friendly recipes and, at the same time, bring in other health benefits, such as plant-based proteins or prebiotic fiber, that make keto-friendly products reach a wider audience.”
Insoluble fibers such as resistant wheat starch are often used in keto baked goods as well to replace wheat flour, as they are high in fiber and have no sugar. Insoluble and soluble fibers are often combined to reduce carbs and sugar in a product while ensuring it maintains overall quality and structure.
Ingredion’s Versafibe 1490 dietary fiber contains 86 grams of carbohydrates, but because 74.2 grams are dietary fiber, its net carbs are only 11.8 grams.
“As a reference, regular wheat flour can contain around 70 grams of net carbohydrates,” said Tatiana Rusev, global business development for nutrition, health and wellness. “So, by replacing regular flour with insoluble fibers like resistant starches, you can have a much lower net carb in your product.”
For example, MGP Ingredient’s Fibersym resistant wheat starch delivers greater than 90% total dietary fiber on a dry basis and just 7 grams of net carbs per 100 grams.
And Manildra Group USA offers FiberGem resistant wheat starch for high-fiber, low-carb bakery items.
“As a wheat-based ingredient, resistant wheat starch is beneficial in bakery because it has synergistic properties such as color, structure, water binding and flavor,” said Brook Carson, vice president of research and development at Manildra Group USA. “Resistant wheat starch can be used as an added fiber in sweet goods, breads, snacks and more.”
Bakers may also opt for alternative flour replacements, including almond flour, coconut flour, flax flour and oat fiber, especially if making a keto, gluten-free product.
“Almond flour, for example, has a low net carbohydrate, high-protein and high-fat content per 100 gram serving, making it an ideal flour for better-for-you baked goods, such as keto-friendly cakes and brownies,” said Stephanie Doan, product innovation manager, Blue Diamond Global Ingredients Division. “The rich and slightly sweet flavor of almond flour makes it a well-suited bakery flour that provides the flavor experience that consumers expect from traditional baked goods.”
This article is an excerpt from the December 2022 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the entire feature on Fiber, click here.