CHICAGO — With more than half of the US population cutting or reducing their carbohydrate intake, it’s no wonder bakeries are looking at producing more low net carb bakery products.

Anthony Tsocanos, director of quality at Hero Bread, San Francisco, which specializes in zero net carb foods, spoke about the topic at BakingTech 2023, held Feb. 28 to March 2 in Chicago. 

“A net carbohydrate is a marketing term meant to describe the result of total carbs and nondigestible fibers, or dietary fiber,” he said. “All fibers are carbohydrates, so we subtract the nondigestible fiber from the total carbohydrates to get the net number of digestible carbs.”

However, decreasing carbohydrates in diets means decreasing fiber, and less than 10% of Americans are getting the recommended amount of daily carbs, Mr. Tsocanos said.

Baked goods offer a unique opportunity for consumers to increase their daily intake of dietary fibers, which improves gut health among other things. Bakers can reach out to flour mills to help increase the fiber content in products.

“It’s our responsibility as bakers to get products into our bread that people are really asking for and they need,” he said. “And the fiber they can take in from just eating the slices of bread we sell them are going to have such long-term impacts on their health.”

He acknowledged that low net carb and keto products present formulation challenges and recommended that bakers seek out solutions, such as mixing doughs at higher temperatures and mixing longer at lower speeds.