Consumer insights are driving texture improvement solutions using Puratos latest enzyme technology.

Based on a consumer survey on sliced bread executed in three states with responses from over 1,000 consumers; it is clear that texture is as important a purchase driver as taste. (Puratos Sensobus Study, 2012). Texture plays a key role in the eating quality of bread hence the consumers’ enjoyment.

About 66% of US consumers eat sliced bread on a daily basis or at least several times a week. The usage of sliced bread is very versatile: toasted, as a carrier for their sandwich or both ways. Bread texture evolves on the shelf as it can dry, crumble and stale. Notably 50% of US consumers want their bread to taste fresh for a week and another 25% for 2 weeks. Consumers also had clear preferences for certain type of breads and brands throughout the country.

So what is the texture consumers are looking for and how can we influence texture?

We combined the consumer preferences of different sliced breads with our Sensory Texture Approach using the following tools.

• Sensory Expert Panel: a US panel is trained to understand and describe the different texture elements of bread which is translated into measurable data.

• Texture Measurement: we measure the texture of bread using state-of-the-art equipment, resulting in quantifiable output which allows us to compare the textures of different breads.

• Texture Mapping: by combining the Sensory Expert Panel results with the scientific measurements, we are able to map and compare different breads on our ‘What is your Texture?’ illustration. This depiction gives customers a visual understanding of consumer texture preferences.

The final results revealed that specific texture features were clearly preferred by the US consumer, but also that the preferred texture varies by region and on whether the consumers eat white or wheat bread.