ADM launches wheat protein for convenience, nutrition

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Nutrition Protein Archer daniels midland

A new wheat protein developed by Archer Daniels Midland (ADM)
claims to allow manufacturers of baked goods to improve the
nutritional profile of their products, while at the same time
delivering convenience benefits to both bakers and consumers.

SmartBind, launched at the IFT food expo in Chicago last week, can be used in microwaveable pre-mixes to deliver baked goods of the same quality as those prepared in an oven, said the company. According to ADM's Wheat Starch & Proteins sales director Neal Bassi, the ingredient allows for the even distribution of heat in products such as muffins, cakes and cookies, meaning that these can be prepared in a microwave and retain a soft, tender texture. The firm expects the new functionality to benefit both consumers, who seek the convenience of microwaveable premixes, as well as in-store bakers and food service operators, who can use the ingredient to speed up their 'fresh-baked' preparation process. At the same time, ADM says its new ingredient allows for a fat reduction of up to 25 percent, without affecting the texture of products. "Manufacturers can ultimately shift fat grams into protein grams and deliver the same quality and texture that consumers are looking for,"​ Bassi told Another functionality of the wheat protein is that it allows for the complete replacement of eggs in baked goods, said the company. Egg whites generally provide structure to a formulation, while egg yolks provide tenderness - and these two attributes can be achieved using SmartBind, explained the firm. In cereal and energy bars, ADM said SmartBind has a double functionality: protein fortification, and a reduction - or complete replacement - of sugar. "Sugar is crucial for binding the ingredients in bars, which are why these are often so sweet. Our ingredient duplicates sugar's binding functionality, so sugar can be removed from the formulation,"​ said Bassi. "At the same time, it's an easy way to include protein into bars - instead of having protein come from the crisps, you put it in the enrobing syrup,"​ he said. In addition, formulators could use the ingredient to replace some dairy proteins, said ADM. Marketed as a natural wheat protein, SmartBind contains wheat gluten and lactic acid. It is cost efficient, according to the firm, as it can replace not only certain cheaper ingredients (fat and sugar), but also more expensive ones (eggs, dairy protein). In addition, ADM claims its use means that products could be placed in better-for-you nutritional categories, which would allow for higher selling prices. The firm said it is currently at the start of its launching phase, with internal and external testing still being carried out. However, the firm said it has so far received positive feedback on the ingredient, and expects interest to pick up. "Sometimes the market is not quite ready for something so versatile that responds to tomorrow's needs. People have not seen anything like this ingredient so far - there's not a competing product out there that can do what we do with this,"​ said Bassi.

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