As the country embraces traditional bread from other cultures, bakers and sellers are looking for the best way to make their baked goods taste great and add nutritional benefit to consumers’ diets. Recent efforts focus on the implementation of whole grains and fiber to improve digestive health.

Bakery expert and author Peter Reinhart agrees that “it’s important to know, or believe, that ‘cream always rises to the top,’ and so will artisan-crafted products.”

ProBiotein is a multi-prebiotic fiber source (for baking or direct ingestion), made from organic wheat, oats, flax, barley malt, flax meal and nutritional yeast. These small grains are fermented to remove the starches, concentrate the proteins and provide nutritional yeast and prebiotic plant fibers. ProBiotein’s four prebiotic fibers are AXOS, FOS, MOS and XOS to cover a broad spectrum of good bacteria.

ProBiotein contains dietary fiber, amino acids, prebiotics and proteins. In fact, ProBiotein contains the most valuable parts of wheat, oats, barley and flax, and maximizes flavor.

“Anytime you can add more fiber to food, which serves as prebiotic nutrition for our gut system (our microbiome), I’m on board,” Reinhart says. “ProBiotein is a unique blend of cooked and fermented whole grains that show great promise as a nutritional and digestive positive. In addition, because it has been pre-fermented, it also works as a flavor enhancer for bread dough, almost like a sourdough starter; a little bit goes a long way.”

Ingredient suppliers are introducing a wide range of products that enhance digestive health, including products geared for bakery and beverages. Plant-based and firmly established with clinical studies, Beneo’s inulin and oligofructose are two of the three proven prebiotics, according to the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP). They naturally support digestive health as they “feed” the microbiome so that beneficial bacteria can selectively grow and support the health of their host. 

Beneo’s inulin and oligofructose are obtained from chicory root via a gentle hot water extraction. This natural production process clearly distinguishes them from other fibers, which are made indigestible by chemical and enzymatic modifications. These include so-called “soluble corn fiber” or the food additive “polydextrose,” each of which require a chemical process. 

Scientific studies with Beneo’s prebiotics have shown a direct correlation between microbiota, bowel regularity and inner well-being. The results showed that inulin intake selectively changed three bacterial genera: Bifidobacterium, Anaerostipes and Bilophila. It increased the relative abundance of Bifidobacterium and Anaerostipes, both known as “good” bacteria, supporting a balanced microbiota. The selectivity of Beneo’s Orafti Inulin was further demonstrated through decreased levels of Bilophila, a potential pathogen also related to increased gas production. This decrease upon inulin consumption was linked with both softer stools and reduced constipation.

At the recent IFT Expo, Beneo featured a coffee beverage that contains chicory root fiber and the next generation sugar Palatinose. With inulin, the coffee serves as a prebiotic and good source of fiber.