According to Ardent Mills, plant-based grains are transforming how the world is nourished. For instance, chickpeas are a nitrogen-fixing crop that can play a key role in regenerative agriculture. Quinoa is a sustainability powerhouse. For every 1,000 acres of Colorado quinoa planted by Ardent Mills, 366 million gallons of water are saved, according to research from the company.

Ardent Mills’ research revealed that consumers do not necessarily expect baked foods containing alternative grains and pulses to match wheat-based baked foods’ finished product flavor and texture profile. They do, however, expect these products to taste good and be high quality.

Others are making wide gains in this emerging market. Corbion offers a range of grain-based blends for the baking industry, including grain and seed blends, grain bread mix, super-soaked grains and hydrated ancient grains.

Corbion features a new customer support offering, 360° by Corbion.  

“As an innovative ally to the baking industry for more than a century, Corbion consistently brings together cutting-edge food science, advanced technology and manufacturing know-how to deliver products that resonate in an ever-changing marketplace,” says Jennifer Lindsey, VP Global Marketing, SFS. “Now, with the launch of 360° by Corbion, our customers can take their product development process to the next level of innovation, efficiency, speed and profitability.” 

Featured products at Corbion’s IBIE booth included: 

Ultra Fresh® – This tiered portfolio offers a variety of solutions for increased moistness, resilience and softness. Ultra Fresh is a finalist for the 2022 IBIE Best in Baking Award for Sustainability. 

Pristine® 3000 – The most robust dough conditioning innovation from Corbion to date, Pristine 3000 enables bakers to overcome common quality hurdles such as wheat protein inconsistencies without relying on gluten supplementation and traditional solutions like DATEM.

Vantage 2060 – Available regionally, enzyme-based Vantage 2060 makes it possible to reduce oils and hard fats by up to 60% and can be used alongside other dough improvers and ESL solutions for easy formulation. 

Soluble corn fiber

Health took center stage at the International Baking Industry Expo (IBIE) where Cargill debuted its new soluble corn fiber. The ingredient supports sugar reductions of 30% or more, while also giving products a fiber boost. Alongside its nutritional credentials, the soluble fiber brings other benefits. It labels simply as soluble corn fiber and offers good digestive tolerance, a must for indulgent categories like bakery. It’s functional too, bringing back bulk and mouthfeel to reduced-sugar applications.

“It is a great way to help with bulking and adds fiber to your formulation,” said Courtney LeDrew, marketing manager for Cargill Starches, Sweeteners and Texturizers. “Two nutrients that consumers are seeking are protein and fiber. Now a lot of bakery items are leading with protein claims.”

Visitors to Cargill’s booth at IBIE sampled prototypes highlighting the new ingredients, including a Reduced-Sugar Linzer Cookie made with Cargill soluble corn fiber and ViaTech® stevia leaf extract, and a Savory Spinach Pinwheel, which with 8 grams of protein per serving, highlighted the company’s vital wheat gluten, PURIS™ pea protein and Prolia® soy flour products.

According to Innova August 2022 research cited by Cargill, the percentage of bakery penetration with a protein claim increased from 15% in 2016 to 19.3% in 2021.

Wheat gluten protein was the most common plant protein in bakery launches with a protein claim over a five-year period.