Healthy Bakery Products

There is healthy bakery every day around the planet, healthy food based on functional foods has a bigger boom among consumers, who demand products that help them reduce the risk of gaining weight and contracting chronic diseases. The bakery and pastry sector does not escape this change, as its products are a major part of a perfect diet. This is the reason that leads to the rethinking of the different inputs used for the elaboration of the wide range of food that is produced in the bakery world. This is where the idea of ‘healthy bakery’ is born, a concept that seeks the introduction of ‘healthy’ ingredients in the elaboration of the different preparations that are produced in this industry.

There are currently various trends in the food market aimed at the conservation and promotion of health and nutrition. One of the most important is reduced or fat- and sugar-free foods, a trend that responds to a public health problem in many countries where obesity and chronic malnutrition threaten much of the population. This is the case of our country where according to ENSIN 2010 (National Survey of the Nutritional Situation in Colombia) conducted by icBF every five years, 51.2% of adult Colombians suffer from obesity or overweight.

According to this reality, bakery products are often in the crosshairs of consumers who want to avoid health problems. While it is true that these products are often high in fat and sugar, it is also true that consumers should take care of the portions of the foods they eat and should know the limits of each food. As an alternative to bakery products, there are ingredients that can replace fat and/or sugar and raise the nutritional level, making their profile much healthier without affecting the consumer experience.

From a taste point of view, replacing sugars with alternative sweeteners is very simple. However, replacing sugar functionality in a baked product is more complicated, because in many of these sugar performs several structural functions.

In these cases, low-calorie volume agents are needed to give the volume and texture that sugar provides. Volume agents available for baking include polydextrose, maltodextrin, inulin and polyols, as well as stevia. In addition to acting as a volume agent, polydextrose also benefits low-carb formulas. Polydextrose is considered 90% soluble fiber, whose additional benefit is that it has a minimal laxative effect, compared to most polyols, which makes it better tolerated at higher levels. Because the ingredient is not sweet on its own, it is frequently used in combination with intensive sweeteners.

On the other hand, it is possible to replace the grease in bakery products without affecting the texture, structure, appearance, or performance of the same on the production line. For example, a Brownie formula can be healthier and cheaper by reducing its fat content by up to 25% by incorporating specialized ingredients such as starches that simulate fat behavior in the application and in turn can reduce the carbohydrate content with the addition of insoluble fiber.

In this way, formulations can be modified to achieve different benefits not only related to health and nutrition, but also to saving formulations, increased shelf life, while delivering products of higher perceived value to the consumer. Promises that can be declared in these formulations include “low-fat,” “low-sugar,” “sugar-free,” “naturally occurring sweeteners,” “fiber-rich,” “low-calorie,” “light” etc.