A systemic approach to plant proteins | 2021-11-09


A systems approach allows you to get the most out of each ingredient. It is also essential to address the biggest challenges when increasing the vegetable protein content of baked goods, which manage water, texture and flavor.

Vegetable proteins, for example, often provide earthy notes and other unpleasant flavors. Even within the same protein source, there can be significant differences in flavor profiles.

“Consumers have little tolerance for these flavor hiccups,” said McKenna Mills, senior bakery technical services specialist, Cargill.

“Some options, like our pea protein, have a more neutral flavor profile. The yellow pea seed varieties are specially bred to minimize false notes and processed without the use of hexanes to bring out the best flavor possible. To further minimize flavor nuances, we can advise bakers to use mixtures of four or more different proteins so that none of them impart an unpleasant flavor.

ADM is focused on creating custom plant protein systems to help formulators achieve their end product goals. The company’s portfolio includes proteins isolated from various beans, grains, nuts, legumes and seeds.

“We are able to bring all of these pieces together in proprietary systems designed to maximize functionality, nutrition, sensory appeal and speed to market,” said Jacquelyn Schuh, Global Marketing Director, Protein Nutrition Solutions at ADM. “The combination of different plant proteins helps product developers respond to consumer interest in healthier baking and snacks with a variety of ingredients, great flavor and improved nutrition. “

Plant-based proteins go well with certain flavors in baked goods. Erin Nese, Technologist, Business Innovation Acceleration, Ingredion, said chocolate, cinnamon and peanut butter are among the best suited profiles.

Newer additions to ADM’s vegetable protein portfolio are Hemp Powder and Hemp Hearts, which are shelled hemp seeds. Both can increase protein levels in baked goods.

“Not only are hemp hearts and hemp powder appealing to health-conscious consumers, they are also incredibly versatile ingredients. Both provide excellent taste and texture in breads, cereals and snack bars, ”said Ms. Schuh. “They are also an ingredient that can provide fiber, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.”

Moisture management is paramount when adding protein to a bakery formulation.

“Too much or too little water can impact texture, volume, shelf life and more,” Ms. Mills said. “However, with careful selection of proteins, it is possible to manage water absorption issues and create protein-rich baked goods that are almost indistinguishable from their“ normal ”counterparts. Mixtures of proteins is often the key, to counteract high absorption proteins (binding) by low absorption proteins (plasticizers).

While conventional baked goods are outdated due to starch downgrade, Mike Merkley, Senior Scientist, Bakery Applications, Tate & Lyle, pointed out that high protein baked goods can also become firm over time. , but for different reasons.

“The hardening associated with protein matrices is complex and can include protein self-aggregation, sugar crystallization and water migration,” he explained. “An understanding of these curing mechanisms and the ingredient solutions that can disrupt these pathways has the potential to extend shelf life and maintain texture. “

Bulk texturizers and sweeteners can help. With a growing trend towards high protein being also reduced in sugar and carbohydrates, this ingredient toolkit is getting smaller.

“Allulose and fructose provide bulk and help maintain texture in high protein systems by their tendency to resist crystallization and add humectant,” said Merkley. “Soluble corn fiber is another effective solution for better moisture retention. Soluble corn fiber imparts little or no color or flavor and reduces water mobility.

Phosphates can also help improve volume, texture, and hardness. They do this by helping to release carbon dioxide, thereby creating lightness in the baked product. These leavening technologies can also help bakers reduce sodium, add calcium, and achieve a gluten-free label.

“When using vegetable protein in formulations, the baked product loses carbon dioxide during the process, which results in a baked product having less bulk,” said Amr Shaheed, head of technical services and application development, Innophos. “The product becomes denser due to the heaviness of the protein. Phosphates provide aeration, lift and increase the smoothness of a product.

This article is an excerpt from the October 2021 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the full article on plant proteins, click here.


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