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Bakery flakes could boost health and shelf-life profile of baked goods

By Jane Byrne , 16-Jun-2010
Last updated on 16-Jun-2010 at 12:21 GMT

New flake ingredients, based on an ancient variety of barley, can extend the shelf life of multi-grain breads, rolls and bagels by a least 20 per cent, claims Kampffemeyer Food Innovation.

The Hamburg-based milled grain application house said its StoneAge barley flakes consist of 95 per cent of amylopectin as well as a high content of cholesterol-lowering beta glucans and can meet the growing demand for healthier baked goods, particularly in the UK, Germany and the Eastern European market.

Introducing dietary fibre into foods is a challenging task for formulators as the ingredient can affect their sensory characteristics.

However, Bettina Zeuch, product manager at Kampffmeyer, told BakeryandSnacks.com that the supplier conducted successful trials on the inclusion of the flakes at multigrain bread manufacturers in Germany.

And the bakers produced bread and rolls using 40 per cent of the barley flakes combined with wheat or rye, with no negative effect on taste, texture or colour in the final product, she claims.

She holds that due to the light colour of the flakes as well as their mild aromatic taste, they also have product decoration applications.

Furthermore, said the product manager, the high amylopectin content of the barley ingredient enables delayed retrogradation and thus extension of shelf life for baked goods by up to 20 per cent depending on the quantity of wheat flour and flakes employed.

No modification of bakery equipment is required, said Zeuch. Due to their pricing structure, the flakes, she added, are best suited to speciality breads, cereal bars or savoury snacks with a premium positioning.

There is blossoming interest in the health benefits of barley, particularly the role of barley beta glucan in lowering blood cholesterol levels, linked to heart health problems, and its capability to balance blood glucose and insulin response after meals, as well as the association between wholegrains and increased satiety.

Indeed, back in October 2009 the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) issued a positive scientific opinion on the relationship between beta-glucan and healthy blood cholesterol.

So long as the positive EFSA opinion on beta-glucan is approved, products containing the ingredient should able to carry a health claim along the lines of: “3 grams per day of barley beta-glucan, as part of a diet low in saturated fat, and a healthy lifestyle, can help manage normal blood cholesterol.”

And Zeuch said that Kampffmeyer will collaborate with bakers on recipes incorporating the barley flakes to ensure they satisfy the minimum beta glucan content specified in the proposed EU health claim.