Creating High Protein, Low Net-Carb Bakery Products

By Ody Maningat*

The high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet trend shows no sign of slowing as consumers continue to look for ways to support their weight loss by consuming lower “net carb” foods. The KETO diet trend is a good example. Yet just 2 percent of bakery products carried high or added protein claims in the five years ending in August 2019, according to Mintel. This may be because food developers working with high-protein formulations often encounter functional challenges.

Over the years, the baking industry has attempted to develop low- or reduced-carb breads, for example, by incorporating a protein source and/or a dietary fiber source (resistant starch) to partially replace flour in the formulation. The result was breads with challenging handling characteristics and differences in dough rheology, loaf volume, crumb grain, texture or flavor when compared with traditional bakery products.

But research shows that the right combination of wheat protein isolate and resistant wheat starch can help to overcome these issues, while also resulting in lower net-carbohydrates.

The high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet trend shows no sign of slowing as consumers continue to look for ways to support their weight loss by consuming lower “net carb” foods. The KETO diet trend is a good example. Yet just 2 percent of bakery products carried high or added protein claims in the five years ending in August 2019, according to Mintel. This may be because food developers working with high-protein formulations often encounter functional challenges.

Over the years, the baking industry has attempted to develop low- or reduced-carb breads, for example, by incorporating a protein source and/or a dietary fiber source (resistant starch) to partially replace flour in the formulation. The result was breads with challenging handling characteristics and differences in dough rheology, loaf volume, crumb grain, texture or flavor when compared with traditional bakery products.

But research shows that the right combination of wheat protein isolate and resistant wheat starch can help to overcome these issues, while also resulting in lower net-carbohydrates.

Ody Maningat, Ph.D., is a globally recognized expert in starch and protein science. He serves as an Adjunct Faculty Member in the Department of Grain Science and Industry at Kansas State University.

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