As more consumers seek gluten-free baked goods, even for those without a gluten sensitivity, it is driving innovation in ingredient manufacturing to ensure bakery products remain relevant, explains Abby Ceule, senior director, functional systems, Corbion, Lenexa, Kansas.

“This demand for gluten-free products also intersects with broader health and wellness trends that continue to gain traction among consumers. As ingredient manufacturers and bakers respond to these trends, the demand for gluten-free baked goods also drives innovation in other dietary trends such as keto and low-carb,” Ceule states.

A variety of key challenges are faced by retail bakers with respect to taste and texture in gluten-free bakery products.

Yanling Yin, director, bakery applications, Corbion, outlines key challenges found in gluten-free (GF) products by application:

  • GF Bread and Buns: Gummy eating texture, large holes in the crumb, low in volume, and inconsistent overall qualities
  • GF Tortilla: very short shelf life with a hard or brittle texture
  • GF Cookies: lack of signature cookie cracking appearance (too smooth), hard texture
  • GF Pizza Crust: hard bite texture and weak body strength

“All the challenges above are related to lack of gluten which contributes viscoelasticity to ensure enough gas-retention capacity to deliver desirable processing attributes and final eating qualities,” Yin explains.

“Gluten helps provide strength, tolerance, and volume in baked goods. When replacing gluten, it’s important that bakers look at the entire formula and properly balance it with the replacement ingredients. This will ensure that there is no sacrifice in the overall quality of the finished product.”

Yin elaborates on the point that without the elasticity that gluten provides, allowing it to stretch and capture carbon dioxide gas produced by yeast during fermentation, the result is a denser and less elastic crumb structure.

Additionally, a gluten-free baked good lacks the protein network that gives bread its structure, which results in a crumb that is more fragile and prone to breaking apart, Yin explains.

Corbion delivers solutions for bakers with a variety of innovative products to ensure that the dough systems of gluten-free products maintain the taste and quality desired.

According to Ceule, Corbion’s ESL solution (Ultra Fresh® Premium 1650 GF) and emulsifiers (Trancendim and Starplex product line) can modify specialty ingredients in the gluten-free mix to provide extensibility and gas-retention capability, resulting in acceptable eating qualities.

“In addition to our emulsifiers and Ultra Fresh products, we have gluten-free blends for tortillas and pan bread,” Ceule explains.

“We use advanced enzyme technologies with a clear understanding of why and how those enzymes interact with other components in a gluten-free dough system.”

Yin further explains that Ultra Fresh® Premium 1650 GF is a premium ESL enzyme product that can be used to effectively extend the shelf-life of Glute Free products, making soft, moist, and yet resilient crumb structure with recommended usage level of 0.03-0.125% (flour base).

Trancendim 180 or 130 @1% (flour base) can offer anti-stick property to make gluten-free products, especially GF tortillas, with reduced damage in the final package due to stickiness.

Starplex 590 or 590F @0.5-1.5% (flour base) not only improves the softness of gluten-free baked goods but also improves sliceability of gluten-free breads and buns in a bakery.

For bakers seeing more information, Corbion provides a wide scope of practical and important solutions.

“One mistake we see is that bakers don’t always balance the entire formula when swapping out ingredients. It’s very important that bakers consider the entire formula; that includes processing conditions and how the swap they are making will impact other ingredients in the formula,” Ceule points out. “360° by Corbion is a revolutionary suite of services and tools designed to transform the product-development process in the food industry. Our technical services team is very skilled in industrial breads production and knows how to apply our enzyme-based solutions. This initiative represents our unwavering commitment to innovation and customer support.”