Several new products, including gluten-free items, have prominently featured cauliflower this year. Tortillas from Caulipower is one example.
In gluten-free formulations, cauliflower often may be combined with other gluten-free ingredients like quinoa flour or xanthan gum.
Archer Daniels Midland Co. is exploring gluten-free pizza crust applications that use a combination of bean or quinoa flour and cauliflower, says Hanna Santoro, senior scientist, baking development and applications.
“In our experience the addition of bean or quinoa flour helps to create a texture that is closer to a traditional pizza crust than a typical cauliflower-only crust,” she says.
Mark Floerke, senior scientist for snacks, bakery, and confections for ADM, says, “The cauliflower itself is bulk carbohydrates and in many respects handles like a starch with very low water-binding capabilities.”
Ketogenic and low-carbohydrate diets initially drove the popularity of cauliflower pizza crusts and pasta, but demand for the products has increased among a variety of consumers over recent years, says Kathy Lewis, senior R.&D. scientist for Ardent Mills.
“The most simple gluten-free low-carb crusts consist of cauliflower, cheese and egg whites for binding,” she says. “However, heartier cauliflower crusts can be achieved with the addition of gluten-free flours such as white or brown rice, sorghum and even quinoa flour. While Ardent Mills has had customer inquiries about the functionality of our ingredients in cauliflower pizza crusts, it’s not an active business category for Ardent Mills at this time.”
The applications team for Bay State Milling Co. has done concept work with its customers using cauliflower, but currently cauliflower is not a core item within Bay State’s family of ingredients, says Donna Reiser, marketing communications manager.
Mel Festejo, chief operating officer for American Key Food Products says the company’s cassava flour may be combined with cauliflower in applications.
“Just as premium cassava flour helps in the use of non-traditional ingredients (e.g., quinoa) in extruded products, this flour has combined well with cauliflower in new-generation snacks,” he says.
Other gluten-free ingredients besides cauliflower are found in the tortillas from Caulipower. The original cauliflower tortillas contain non-bioengineered/non-G.M.O. corn, guar gum, and xanthan gum. The company’s grain-free cauliflower tortillas contain chickpea flour, cassava flour, guar gum, and xanthan gum. Caulipower previously launched cauliflower pizza crust that also contains brown rice flour, corn starch, tapioca, eggs, and xanthan gum. The paleo cauliflower pizza crust features almond flour, cassava flour, tapioca flour, eggs, and xanthan gum.
Other companies have joined the cauliflower pizza crust trend. Chuck E. Cheese offers a gluten-free Super Cauli Crust Pizza that has crust made by Caulipower. B&G Foods has launched cauliflower pizza crust under its Green Giant brand. The pizza crust is 80% cauliflower, and other common gluten-free ingredients include rice flour and corn flour.