In most baked goods, gluten is critical to developing the structure of the finished product. This contributes to mouthfeel, texture, volume and even taste.
“When formulating gluten-free baked goods, one of the challenges manufacturers face is making products with similar eating qualities as their gluten counterparts,” Ms. Yin said. “Wheat gluten provides viscoelastic properties to baked goods and helps to retain gas bubbles in the dough. It provides a crumb structure that consumers expect. Without gluten, there is a challenge to meet consumer expectations of texture and mouthfeel.”
These come from the lack of even structure gluten delivers, according to Mr. Rodriguez. This also contributes to reduced volume and results in dry, crumbly textures and grainy flavors.
There aren’t any one-size-fits-all solutions for replacing gluten’s functionality in wheat-based baked goods. A common and effective strategy is using several ingredients to mimic the structure-building capabilities of gluten. This requires working closely with suppliers to find the right solution for a product.
“Working side-by-side with customers, Corbion can help baked goods manufacturers formulate gluten-free products with the synergy of ingredients to allow dough to rise in the oven, produce a nice cell structure and deliver the eating qualities consumers expect,” Ms. Yin said. Corbion offers a variety of gluten-free mixes and bases that bakers can experiment with.
At Bay State Milling’s Rothwell GrainEssentials Center, bakers can work closely with the company’s product applications team to find a solution to their gluten-free challenges. Work at this center yielded a line of gluten-free flours that is available in both refined and whole grain versions.
“These gluten-free all-purpose flours were formulated in our Rothwell GrainEssentials Center to deliver performance and functionality in a range of applications, including sheeted products,” Mr. Ward said.
Ingredion bases its gluten-free solutions in a variety of sources: tapioca, potato, rice, corn, hydrocolloid gums and pulses, as well as fibers and proteins. The company’s gluten-free texturizing system is a starch-based solution that helps bakers formulate gluten-free baked goods that closely resemble their gluten-containing counterparts at an affordable price point, another challenge with gluten-free ingredients. Ingredion also offers bulk flour systems that enable bakers to make high-quality gluten-free baked goods with more functionality and a clean, simple ingredient label.