The EU-funded program investigated methods to improve the nutritional profile of breads using altered grains, fractions, concentrates and ingredients, fermentation processes and baking technologies.
Of the eight companies involved, five have already commercialized products.
Jan-Willem van der Kamp, HealthBread project leader from TNO Food and Nutrition, said the next move was to introduce concepts to other bakeries across Europe.
“It’s not final yet, but we’re planning on setting up a HealthBread association to communicate our results,” he told BakeryandSnacks.com.
“We want to have it by the end of the year,” he said.
Distributing the trademark
The association would act as a first point of contact for companies interested in using some of the technologies and methods outlined in the project, Van der Kamp said - pooling together all findings, data and information on the project.
HealthBread had already been trademarked and the association would select bakery companies that could use the mark, he said.
However, the EU’s initial project intentions – to support small and medium-sized bakeries (SMEs) – would be maintained, he said. “The use of the trademark will be restricted to those SME-type bakeries, but of course if a bigger baker wants to apply the same principles and do its own marketing, that’s fine.”
Bakers have added craft
Bakery products from project partners had already been commercialized and some were due to launch in January 2015, Van der Kamp said. Interestingly, each baker had added its own take on the HealthBread principles, he said.
Many, for example, had adopted alternative fermentation processes to the project’s suggested overnight wheat fraction fermentation. Some were using sourdough-type fermentation processes for the dough and others were fermenting only part of the dough.
“Bakers used the principles of HealthBread and made some adaptations with their own craftsmanship,” he said.
These fermentation alterations enabled improved bioavailability of key nutrients and minerals such as iron, magnesium and zinc within the bread, he explained.
Can this project go big?
Asked if HealthBread could appeal to everyday bakers from a cost and ease point of view, Van der Kamp said: “I guess yes, because of the eight bakeries who were involved in the project from the beginning, five have launched products.”
However, applying methods from the project was not as easy as other new product developments in bread, he warned. “It’s perhaps not as easy as a fancy innovation where you put grains on the surface; it is a kind of real innovation with these fractions and fermentation processes.”
But, two Italian bakers approached earlier this year had managed to implement and produce products within two months, he said, so it was certainly do-able.
For bakers looking to adopt methods from the project, Van der Kamp suggested joining forces with one of the project partners. “If you want to spend your time effectively, you can do it better together than alone,” he said.
For more information about the HealthBread project click HERE.