The beauty of many baked goods is that they are composed of multiple items, such as coatings, fillings, inclusions and more. Protein can be included in most components. 

David Guilfoyle, design manager bakery/fats and oils, IFF, noted that distributing the protein throughout the product design will help to maintain great texture, flavor and appearance for better overall quality. For example, to add protein to a coated oatmeal and fruit cookie bar, protein powder and protein nuggets can be added. 

“The high-protein nuggets have more than 90% protein, which enables high-protein bars with crunchy texture and helps with the shelf life,” he said. 

MGP Ingredients has new plant-based protein crisp inclusions, which may be used for texture and crunch in nutritional bars, snacks and cereal applications. The line includes hemp and pea crisps for protein enhancement, and crisps made with alternative botanicals and ancient grains. 

“They come in multiple shapes and offer consumer-friendly attributes, including gluten-free, clean label and organic,” said Tanya Jeradechachai, vice president of research and development, MGP Ingredients.

With assistance from emulsifiers and hydrocolloids, all types of baked goods can be designed with protein-enriched elements. Even an iced jelly-filled donut offers
 opportunities for protein fortification in a few ways.

“Pea protein can be added to the donut dough, along with a protein masker to improve the flavor of the donut,” Mr. Guilfoyle said. “Pea protein-fortified jelly can be injected into the finished donut. The donut can also have pea-protein fortified fruit paste pieces with chia seed inclusions to layer in textural and flavor enhancements. The emulsifiers and hydrocolloids will help with increasing the moisture retention within the product, which in turn also aids in shelf life extension and better mouthfeel.”

The addition of protein-containing ingredients, such as nuts, seeds and flours made from ancient grains, beans and pulses, also contributes nutrition and functionality to recipes. Many will provide visual appeal and layers of texture. 

“These wholesome ingredients add nutritional attributes, offering protein, fiber, potassium and iron,” said Jeff Hodges, manager, bakery, snacks and confections applications, ADM. 

Consumers are clearly seeking out quality protein-packed products, and bakers have several options to create them. Exploring all of the options will help them find the best formulations for their products.  

This article is an excerpt from the August 2023 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the entire feature on Protein, click here.