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Roughage Times Ahead:

Fiber Fortification Done Right

By Kimberly J. Decker Contributing Editor

eres a riddle: Name a nutrient whose principal contribution to human health isnt its beneficial digestion products or its catalysis of metabolic reactions, but instead comes from the fact that no matter how much of it we eat (and we dont eat nearly enough), it never actually enters the body. Need another clue? So convincing is the evidence in favor of this un-nutrients value that the FDA sanctions several health claims aimed explicitly at increasing its consumption. If youre still stumped, just think, natures little broom.

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Resistant starches help boost the fiber content of baked goods while contributing little flavor to the food.

Yes, its dietary fiber, the same old-time roughage that grandmas have sworn by for ages. Positive scientific findings combined with a nascent vogue for whole foods, publichealth advocacy and a population entering its later innings hoping to undo the slump it built up earlier in the game are giving Americans plenty of reason to eat more fiber. Hypothetically, motivating a fiber-famished public to open wide shouldnt be a tough sellprojected growth in the fiber industry from revenues of $193.1 million in 2004 to an estimated $495.2 million by 2011 suggests a bull market for fiber-fortified foods, as reported in the Frost & Sullivan study Strategic Analysis of the United States Food Fiber Industry . But such a market wont develop on its own. As the reFood Product Design

port also states, The appeal for food fiber as an additive is not related to its ability to increase the flavor of foods. And how. Notwithstanding consumer confidence toward fiber in theory, fiber in fact has rarely gotten more than a chilly reception. Perhaps our stepwise inclination toward refined tastes and textures has doomed coarse, drab fiber to irrevocable second-class status. Nor do manufacturers appreciate the havoc it can play in formulas where it is not welcome. But the road to roughage neednt be a rough voyage. Knowing which ingredients to use and where to use them can make for smooth sailing.

More than good-for-the-gut Technically speaking, because fiber never breaches the digestive

lining or assimilates itself into our cellular or metabolic machinery, it never does enter the body. But Ody Maningat, vice president, applications technology and technical services, MGP Ingredients, Inc., Atchison, KS, says, Fiber is a nutrient. Its a misconception to say that it just passes through you. How does an indigestible nutrient benefit health? Chiefly, by improving conditions in the gastric cavity as it gels and ferments there. For starters, when soluble fibers, such as pectins, gums, mucilages and beta glucansoften called viscous fibersform gels in the stomach, they slow, and thus increase, nutrient absorption in the small intestine. The polysaccharide inulin, for example, is particularly adept at boosting nutrient uptake, with 15 grams per day evidently increasing the bioavailability of calcium, iron and magnesium. Some products can improve on that score. According to Kathy Niness, vice president, marketing, Orafti Active Food Ingredients, Malvern, PA, a double blind placebo-controlled study showed that 8 grams per day of BENEO Synergy 1, a proprietary new enriched form of inulin, increases calcium absorption by 20%. In this study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition , 87 (Supplement 2), May 2002, page S187-S19, 32% of the consumed calcium was absorbed by subjects

Photo: ADM


When swapping flour for resistant starch in a baked snack, product designers usually do not have to alter baking times, partially due to the low water-holding capacity of resistant starches.

taking a placebo, whereas those consuming the companys inulin ingredient absorbed 38%. Inulin at levels as low as 5 grams per day also encourages the growth of healthful lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, crowding out bad microflora in the process. Thus, it acts as a prebiotic fiberand in this capacity, its not alone. A host of other fermentable fibers, both soluble and insoluble, serve as fodder for gut bacteria. When considering a prebiotic fiber, notes Juliana Zeiher, ingredient technologies manager, GTC Nutrition, Golden, CO, The glucose terminals and short chain length are extremely important to the fermentation profile and ingredient functionality, as they determine how easily probiotic bacteria can metabolize it. As a prebiotic, the 95% active content of scFOS (short-chain fructooligiosaccharides) supports the growth of a wide variety of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli strains, and does not support the growth of pathogens in vivo, she points out. As lactobacilli and bifidobacteria ferment these fibers to short-chain fatty acids, such as butyrate, they lower colonic pH and thus prime the environment even more for their robust growth. Some studies also associate butyrate with colon-cancer prevention, which, coupled with soluble fibers ability both to dilute fecal carcinogens and hasten their transit through the gastrointestinal tract,

argues convincingly for fiber as a cancer fighter. The case for its role in cardiovascular health is even more persuasive. Soluble, viscous fibers inhibit bileacid absorption, forcing the liver to harvest cholesterol from the blood to synthesize and replace the lost bile. The upshot: reduced circulating cholesterol levels. For several years, the FDA has permitted foods with at least 0.75 grams per serving of soluble fiber from oats to bear the claim, Soluble fiber from foods such as oat bran (or oatmeal, rolled oats, or whole oat flour), as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease. More recently, the FDA gave the goahead to a similar health claim for products containing at least 0.75 grams per serving of whole-grain

barley or dry-milled barley, after the National Barley Foods Council, Spokane, WA, filed a petition with research showing daily consumption of 3 grams of barley beta-glucans lowered cholesterol by about 5%. For product designers, that means adding fiber can produce some attention-grabbing headlinesor at least labels. A variety of meaningful health claims can be made on fiberrich foods including nutrient content, health and structure/function claims, says Zeiher. Most prebiotic-fiber claims only pertain to products containing soluble fiber, whereas nutrient content claims can be achieved with both soluble and insoluble fibers. By forming viscous gels, soluble fibers delay carbohydrate digestion and absorption, helping maintain cirFood Product Design

Photo: ADM


culating blood glucose levels, dampening fluctuations in glycemic response, and increasing insulin sensitivity, while also extending feelings of satiety. Given that every gram of an effectively noncaloric fiber can potentially displace 4 or 9 calories from an equal amount of carbohydrate or fat, Foods containing fiber are typically healthier and also lower in calories, says Jit Ang, executive vice president of research and development and business development, International Fiber Corporation, North Tonawanda, NY. Therefore, consuming these foods would fit into most dietary plans, from weight-loss diets to weight-maintenance diets. And, of course, we dont call it natures little broom for nothing: Fiber, particularly insoluble, is the laxation aid for the ages.

How much is enough? Pity, then, that Americans average only 10 to 15 grams per day, according to Ang. Thats far short of the 25gram daily reference value (DRV) that the National Academy of Sciences set for a 2,000-calorie diet, as well as the 2005 USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendation of 14 grams per 1,000 calories. Such targets are worthy goals, for sure, but theyre ambitious for a population that, as Ang says, prefers ease rather than health. Even conscientious eaters, mindful of what fiber does and where it lurks, would have trouble packing that much into three squares. Dorothy Peterson, product line specialist for starches, Cargill Food & Pharma Specialties, Minneapolis, observes most people

are unwilling to completely change their diet to meet the recommendation and, instead, suggests looking to more nontraditional foods to incorporate fiber so that people actually get close to that recommended amount. Ang agrees. At this time, most consumers tend to relate fiber with grain-based foods, such as unrefined grains and the baked goods and breads made from their fiberrich flour and bran. But, he asks, why stop there? I believe that if food technologists can develop good-tasting fiber-fortified foods, we can change the current consumer stereotype of high-fiber foods. For example, what is wrong with a fiber-fortified breakfast patty if it tastes good?

Know your limits Ah, but thats the question. Consumers are looking for fiber, says Steve Ham, director of marketing for specialty ingredients at MGP, yet taste is always going to win out. Its a matter of making a healthier product without sacrificing the sensory properties. A pivotal question he thinks formulators should ask is, Whats the goal of balancing how much fiber to add without taking away from the sensory properties of the original product?

Fortifying a bar application with resistant maltodextrin not only boosts soluble-fiber levels, it can help extend the bars shelf life.

Photo: ADM Food Product Design


Its the existential dilemma of the fiber formulator. And at least the government has provided some goalposts to clear. The FDA allows products that are low in fat and contain at least 20% of the daily value for fiberabout 5 gramsper reference amount to promote themselves as excellent sources of fiber; good sources must contain at least 10%, or 2.5 grams, per serving. But squeezing even that much fiber into some serving sizes can be well nigh impossible. As Maningat says, If you have a food that has a serving size of, lets say, 15 grams, and you have to meet claims for an excellent source of fiber, that means you have to have 5 grams of fiber. So youre looking at more than a 33% incorporation. You cannot do that with wheat bran or oat bran without

negatively affecting taste, texture and color. Fiber fortification, thus, is typically self-limiting. When a food is fortified with fiber, a number of changes will take place, most of which can be detrimental to texture, flavor and mouthfeel, Ang says. In most cases, over-addition of fiber will cause dryness in the food product, a chalky or gritty mouthfeel, a very dense texture and lack of flavor. That is why it is often difficult to develop great-tasting, high-fiber food products.

Fiber the old-fashioned way Of course, what seems dense and gritty in one product might simply be rustic in another. Whole-grain and artisan breads, hearty wheat crackers, flaked and shredded cereals, gra-

nola bars, and even sweets like oatmeal cookies and homey quick breads have all historically had success as high-fiber foods, in no small part because they often developed that way. In these applications, the high-fiber medium is the message. Because such items have evolved for higher fiber levels, formulators and manufacturers have adapted to fibers effects on processing. As Sarah Schut, market manager, CreaFill Fibers Corp., Chestertown, MD, says, An insoluble fiber loves water. It absorbs tremendous amounts of it, holds it and forms a matrix with it. This also can affect product color and moisture release. Thus, bakers of high-fiber foods have learned to increase moisture levels and mix times to account for insoluble fibers hygroscopicity. They may also lengthen baking cycles or raise temperatures to drive off that lingering water. And they prehydrate fibers that take longer to soften, and use ingredient forms that convey the proper color and mouthfeel almost instinctually. It always helps, though, when instinct gets a shot of innovation. The attention directed at fiber has spawned innovative ingredients that, to all outward appearances, look and perform like the fiber sources of old. For example, Sustagrain barley, an identity-preserved waxy barley from ConAgra Mills, Omaha, NE, im-

Photo: Orafti Active Food Ingredients

Adding inulin to yogurt products contributes prebiotic fiber while providing other health benefits, including increased calcium absorption by the consumer.

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Beta-glucan-rich barley flour can replace a high level of wheat or white flour in flatbreads and other unleavened baked goods.

proves upon traditional whole-grain barleys fiber and nutritional benefits. The company, in conjunction with Montana State University, conventionally bred the barley to have a total dietary fiber (TDF) of 30%, fully half of which is cholesterollowering beta glucan. Thats roughly triple the TDF and soluble fiber of conventional whole oats. And with only 30% starchless than half that of other cerealsits glycemic index (GI) ranks among the lowest for grains. Adds Beth Arndt, manager of product development at ConAgra Mills, this is whole-grain barley were dealing with. Part of the benefit of using whole grain is that youre not just delivering the isolated fiber, youre delivering the entire nutrient package, including
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lipids, proteins, vitamins, minerals, flavonoids and other phytonutrients, she says. Flaked and steel-cut forms of the ingredient work wherever an analogous oat product would, says Bill Bonner, ConAgra Mills director of product development. The steel-cut kernels show up well in soups or anywhere youre going to have a high moisture content so that itll be able to cook up. And while the lower starch-to-fiber ratio gives the flakes a firmer texture vis--vis oats, with the right thickness, Bonner notes, the two are interchangeable. Just flake it a bit thinner and its indistinguishable, he says. In fact, a 2-to-1 blend of oat flakes with this barley increases the per-serving fiber in a hot cereal by 50% without affecting taste or texture.

In flour form, the barley can strengthen fiber levels in baked goods, extruded cereals, snacks and pasta, Bonner continues. While its minimal gluten content and higher fiber prevent it from replacing wheat flour 1-to-1, he suggests aiming for a 15% to 40% addition and homing in on the ideal level from there. Flatbreads, tortillas and pizza crusts can substitute at higher levels, because they dont need the lift or gluten structure of highly risen bread. And the company has developed a pasta that substitutes the barley flour for 30% of the durum semolina. With only 4 grams of the ingredient needed to deliver 0.6 grams of beta glucan per reference amount, Arndt adds, you dont need bushels to make a health claim. The microfine form of the flour, with a particle size of less than 200 mesh, goes unnoticed in viscous, opaque beverages, smoothies, yogurt, puddings and other products not normally associated with barley beta glucans.

Photo: ADM

Breaking from tradition As fiber suppliers have taken stock of the profit potential of highfiber mainstream foods, theyve responded with a range of invisible fibersinnocuous both on the palate and in productionthat in some cases not only dont muck up processing or quality, but even enhance it.

Take fiber and its performance in extruded breakfast cereals. When working with extrusion, says Doris Dougherty, senior food scientist, Tate & Lyle Americas, Decatur, IL, you quickly find that the issue is expansion due to the inability to cook out your base material. But when were trying to fortify at high levels of fiber, it becomes more and more difficult to cook out that base material. Chalk it up to water management: Modified fibers exert a tenacious moisture grip. Many times, though, you dont want to add that additional water, says Susan Potter, R&D scientist at Tate & Lyle. You dont want it to come out too wet because you still have to drive that moisture off to get a crisp product. Driving off moisture adds cost, and if you fail to drive off that moisture, you dont get the right mouthfeel and texture. Tate & Lyle has developed an ingredient system, that when added at roughly 13% to 18% of an extruded breakfast cereals formula (depending on the form of the ingredient), can provide enough fiber per 30-gram serving for a good or excellent source claim without dampening either expansion or a cereals characteristic light, crispy texture. A blend of insoluble oat fiber, modified food starch, maltodextrin, sucralose, natural flavors, and colors, it facilitates that cooking and gives the proper expansion and balanced flavor, Dougherty says. Another fiber source that helps manufacturers eliminate sugar from their formulas is inulin and the related shorter-chained FOS. There are distinctions between the ingredients that fall into this category. Zeither notes that fructooligosaccharides has been used almost universally

when describing these prebiotic fibers, but cautions that this label is not entirely accurate, and the general misunderstanding has occurred specifically because the differences between the three prebiotic categories were previously not well understood. She terms scFOS a specific, defined mixture of glucoseterminated fructose chains with a maximum chain length of 5 units and 95% pure active prebiotic, which is derived from sugar cane by a natural fermentation process. On the other hand, she describes oligofructose as a mixed FOS, the enzymatic

the FOS. This comes in handy in formulas aiming both to maximize fiber and minimize carbs. Weve got a liquid inulin that we call sweet liquid fiber thats 50% as sweet as sucrose and only 1.9 kcal per gram, she continues. So in addition to adding fiber, you can replace sweeteners at the same time. ScFOS is mildly sweet, according to Zeitherabout 30% as sweet as sucroseand only 1.5 calories per gram. She describes oligofructose as a pleasantly sweet hydrolysis product of native inulin, consisting mostly of linked fructose units, with

When were trying to fortify at high levels of fiber, it becomes more and more difficult to cook out that base material.

hydrolysis product of inulin. It consists of mixed glucose and fructoseterminated chains, varying in length from two to seven, she says. Inulin is not a fructooligosaccharide, because the majority of its chains exceed 10 units. This makes inulin a polysaccharide that has some prebiotic properties. A signal advantage of these soluble polyfructans, which occur naturally as storage polymers in plants, is their mildly sweet taste. Inulin has a very pleasant flavor, says Sally Romano, vice president, sales and marketing, Sensus America, Monmouth Junction, NJ. And the shorter the chain length, the sweeter

some glucose-terminated chains. Oligofructose is about 30% to 60% as sweet as sugar and contributes 1.5 kcal/gram. Product developers who replace some of that sugar with high-intensity sweeteners might also want to consider adding inulin and shortchain FOS for their ability to mask the oft-derided aftertaste that haunts some alternative sweeteners. As a bonus, some prebiotic fibers allow for claims such as enhances calcium absorption, helps build a stronger immune system, good/excellent source of fiber, for optimal digestive health and more, says Zeiher. The opportunity to make claims will
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Inulin can add hidden processing advantages to some bar applications. For example, inulin can help cereal bars maintain their shape, which aids extrusion and packaging.

vary depending on the fiber source, the application used and inclusion rates. Inulin can also help those formulators tackling low-glycemic products. Replacing sugar with inulin lowers the glycemic index of foods which in turn helps control blood sugar levels, says Niness. Inulin may be used to replace up to 8 grams of sugar per serving in foods and has the added benefits of being natural and promoting digestive and bone health. Romano also notes that inulin, unlike some other fibers, doesnt have a marked affinity for water and moderates the effects of more water-seeking fibers. Sometimes manufacturers will use it with insoluble fibers, like wheat fiber, because a lot of those fibers bind a lot of water. For those looking for the likeliest application candidates, Zeiher lists a
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number of emerging products incorporating prebiotic fibers, including kefir, yogurt and other dairy drinks, sports products, functional waters, nutrition bars, weight loss products, soymilk, green foods, probiotic supplements, mineral supplements, medical foods and pet foods.

Joining the resistance Inulin is hardly the least water-binding fiber out there. For that purpose and others, the family of digestion-resistant starches has really bloomed in recent years as manufacturers have looked to these ingredients as the ultimate in stealth fiber addition. As Ham notes, If you look at resistant starches, for example, theres very low water-holding with a high TDF. So its easy to formulate without having to deal with higher water levels.

Unlike traditional starches, resistant starches (RS) evade absorption in the small intestine while fermenting in the large. Classified into four categories RS1 through RS4they generally behave metabolically like insoluble cellulose fibers. RS1 is physically trapped within foods, protecting it from amylolytic enzymes and landing it within the National Academy of Sciences definition of intrinsic and intact dietary fiber. Also considered as such is RS2, a native granular form of starch resilient to enzyme action, except in its gelatinized state. Peterson notes that while RS2s dont have as high a level of total dietary fiber as some other resistant starches, They do have benefits in terms of being more of a good carb. They have less impact on glycemic response. The RS3 category undergoes physical retrogradation to a crystalline form of nongranular starch, and RS4, the newest group of RS, comprises starches that are chemically modified to make them both digestion-resistant and more concentrated in TDF. For example, Fibersol-2, a digestionresistant maltodextrin from ADM, Decatur, IL, analyzes as fully 90% TDF. Regardless of its subgroup, a resistant starch as a rule boasts the benefits of small particle sizemaking it less texturally or visually intrusivelower water-absorption, paler color and blander flavorconsiderably opening the applications to fiber fortification. Notes Allan Buck, research and development, ADM, By simply removing

Photo: Orafti Active Food Ingredients


soluble carbohydrates, such as corn syrup, and replacing them with Fibersol-2, at 90%-plus fiber, we can put fiber into confections, beverages, frozen desserts, sauces, fillings, condiments, and so on. Because some resistant starcheslow water-holding capacity can very closely match the absorptive capacity of traditional wheat flour, Maningat says, If you have a flour that has a 60% water absorption, a formulator wont even have to change that when he incorporates resistant starch as a source of fiber. Changing to resistant starch also does not impact baking time. Nevertheless, some applications that could benefit from resistant starches could also benefit from greater moisture retention. MGP is developing a 70%-TDF resistant starch that, through starch choice and processing modifications, holds more moisture than the average resistant starch. Lets say that a typical wheat-based resistant starch will absorb 0.7 grams of water per gram of starch, Maningat says. We can change our process to raise that to 2 grams of water per gram of starch. And with the fibers shortening-like texture in mind, Ham says, We are going to be pursuing dairy applications, sauces, salad dressings. With the added water, we see the possibility to replace fat in addition to adding fiber.

By gum! Most fat-reduced sauces and salad dressings cast gums and hydrocolloids in the role of fat mimetic. But these viscous, soluble fibers, under the right conditions, can also help boost fiber levels in foods. Depending on the benefits you want from the gum, fortification will be easy or hard, says Mar Nieto, technical services manager, TIC Gums,
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Inc., Belcamp, MD. This has to do with gums inherent viscosity and its effects on both nutrition and product quality. Remember that its through viscosity that a gum interferes with glucose and bile-acid absorption, so to reap a gums glucose-maintenance and cholesterollowering benefits, You want to use the thicker gums that will add viscosity, such as guar gum, konjac, pectin, and locust bean gum, he says. However, There will be a restriction here because you cannot make a product so thick that nobody will eat it. The texture of highly hydrated products, such as bread doughs and beverages, suffers when fortified with gums sufficient to achieve their cardio and blood-glucose benefits. In breads, for example, gums will make the structure so dense that, even after baking, parts of it will be so dense that it looks like its not cooked, Nieto says. Weve done a lot of work using thick gums in bread, and the highest you can use is 1%, bakers percentage. With water and other ingredients, it would be lowersay, 0.6%. At a 0.6% addition, even a gum with 80% to 90% TDF average for mostwill only deliver about 0.54 grams of fiber per 100 grams of bread. Figure a single slice weighs half that and youre not gaining much fiber to crow about. And while suppliers have suggested low-viscosity guar as a solution, by virtue of its low viscosity, You will still have to use a lot more of the gum for it to be beneficial to health, he says. On the other hand, if prebiotic advantages are your goal, the main criterion for a prebiotic gum is not its viscosity, but rather its suitability to fermentation in the large intestine. The fermentation productsthe short-chain fatty acidsare whats beneficial, Nieto says. Sound fermen-

tation candidates include gum arabic, guar gum, pectin, inulin and gum acacia, but the latter two stand out for their marked lack of viscosity, meaning that you can load your food with a lot of them, he says. The most effective way to load a product with gums benefits, however, is to take a tag-team approach that blends thick ones with thin. This allows for significant fiber levels in beverages, yogurt and other foods otherwise unable to access gums cholesterol- and glucose-maintenance benefits. So if I want to fortify a product mainly to gain prebiotic value, Nieto says, I can use as much gum as I wantas high as 5 grams per servingand it will not have a negative effect on sensory attributes. But if I want to get the glucose-absorption benefit, I would use a thick gum in combination with a thin gum to achieve the fortification levels I want. While fiber quantities will of necessity depend on the gum, the product and the serving size, he cites levels as high as 3.5 grams per serving as realistic. A few grams here, a few more therepretty soon, meeting those fiber guidelines wont seem that tall an order after all. Thanks to the widening range of ingredients available, to say nothing of the products they allow us develop, natures little broom looks poised to make a clean sweep of the fortification market. Kimberly J. Decker, a Californiabased technical writer, has a B.S. in Consumer Food Science with a minor in English from the University of California, Davis. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area, where she enjoys eating and writing about food. You can reach her at

By Cindy Hazen Contributing Editor

e know its good for us, but most of us are getting less than half of FDAs Daily Reference Value for fiber. Rather than the recommended 25 grams of fiber in a 2,000-calorie diet, we struggle to reach 13 grams. Our consumption is so low that the USDAs Dietary Guidelines for Americans report published in 2005 cites fiber as a nutrient whose consumption is low enough to be of concern and states efforts are warranted to promote increased dietary intake. USDA recognizes that a diet rich in dietary fiber promotes healthy laxation, reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes and decreases the risk of coronary heart disease. While the government and health agencies such as the American Heart Association, Dallas; the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN; and the American Dietetic Association, Chicago, urge Americans to eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains to increase general fiber consumption, how can the food industry help? Rhonda Witwer, business development manager, National Starch Food Innovation, Bridgewater, NJ, sees it clearly. Weve got to build the fiber

intake in this country, she notes, and baked goods have got a tremendous opportunity to deliver those products. But adding fiber to baked goods brings a host of challenges, both from a product-development standpoint and from a consumer standpoint. The developer must choose a fiber source that blends well with the product concept, as well as the other ingredients. Texture, flavor, color and particle size are attributes that should be considered. With the inclusion of one new fiber ingredient, the finished baked good might brown undesirably or become grainy. Fibers water-holding capacity can impact the machinability of the dough, as well the finished mouthfeel, be it crisp or chewy. The final product must align with consumer expectations, or it is destined for failure. Consider a dense, bran-laden angel food cake for an example of fiber fortification gone awry. Everybody should love fiber Its sometimes called bulk. Old-timers call it roughage. Essentially, fiber is an indigestible complex carbohydrate. Simply put, its the parts of plant foods that the body cant absorb. There are two types of fiber: water-

insoluble and water-soluble. Insoluble fibers those that do not dissolve in water include cellulose, hemicellulose and lingnin. Soluble fibers include gums and pectin. In general, soluble fibers can greatly increase a products viscosity and water requirements compared to insoluble fibers. The texture imparted by soluble fibers is best described as gummy. Insoluble fibers, on the other hand, tend to give a drier mouthfeel. In baked goods, soluble fibers can often inhibit fermentation and proofing processes in breads, says Jit Ang, executive vice president, International Fiber Corporation, North Tonawanda, NY. Most breads use insoluble fibers. Soluble fibers are not normally used in bread applications. From a health standpoint, solublee and insoluble fibers have different roles. As insoluble fiber passes through the body, it moves waste quickly, possibly reducing the risk of colon cancer. Insoluble fiber is found in grains, nuts and vegetables. Soluble fiber helps lower blood-cholesterol and glucose levels. Good sources of soluble fiber are fruits, vegetables and certain grains, such as oats and barley. All fiber takes up space in the stomach and adds to
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the feeling of fullness, making it important to weight loss. High-fiber diets are usually less energy dense, meaning that they have fewer calories per volume of food. The American diet is fiber-deficient partly because we dont consume enough fruits and vegetables. The majority of us eat less whole foods in favor of the more-processed variety. This is especially true from a baked-goods standpoint. Refined white flour, from which the bran, germ and endosperm have been stripped away, has predominated in the market. The dietary fiber in 100 grams of enriched, bleached, all-purpose white flour is just 2.7 grams. Compare this to 100 grams of 100% whole-grain wheat flour, at 12.2 grams of fiber, and one path to fiber inclusion in baked goods is clear. Whole-grain solutions Replacing some or all of the wheat flour with a whole grain can add fiber to breads, cookies and crackers. Usage level could be anywhere from 30% to 100% substitution with whole-grain flour, says Tania Sant, R&D project manager, The Hain Celestial Group, Inc., Azusa, CA. Many common flours beat the fiber content of white wheat flour: Rye flour has 14.6 grams of fiber per 100 grams. Oat flour has 11.5 grams, barley flour has 10.1 grams, corn flour has 10 grams and buckwheat flour has 10 grams. Besides boosting the fiber content of baked goods, they provide valuable
Resistant-starch ingredients, such as high-amylose corn starch, can help product designers convert typical baked goods into high-fiber versions without much, if any, organoleptic alteration.

nutrients. Nutritionally, these flours contribute B vitamins and phytonutrients present in the bran layer of the grain, says Sant. Protein and vitamin E are present in the germ of the grain. Unique grains like quinoa, amaranth, spelt and kamut (with 5.9%, 15.2%, 11.4% and 19.2% fiber, respectively) are finding use in breads, crackers, bagels and tortillas. Were seeing more uses of exotic grains, says Cynthia Harriman, director of food and nutrition strategies, Oldways Preservation Trust and the Whole Grains Council, Boston. These are realistically only available to small producers, as the big guys would swallow the worldwide supply of some of these niche grains with three weeks production! Sant is optimistic about the future supply of whole grains. I am sure suppliers will rise to the occasion if there is a demand, she says. There is a trend toward making whole-grain claims and, therefore, using whole-grain flours as a partial or full substitution will be more commonplace in the coming years.

Some grains shine in certain applications but not in others. Most everyone is familiar with the flavor and desirable texture that oats can add to certain cookies and cakes. Brown rice flour is less well known, but could be an important tool in applications where crispness is desired. In cakes and cookies, however, brown rice flour can make the product gritty if used as a complete replacement for white flour. When using whole grains, texturally, the product will be denser, but one can overcome some of that with clever use of leavening agents, says Sant. The flavor contributed by the wheat, barley and oat flours could be favorable or unfavorable, depending on the application. Tannins in the bran contribute to that. The stronger flavor and texture could mesh well in a bran muffin or multigrain bread. However, it might prove offensive in a yellow cake or sugar cookie. In applications where reliance on gluten development is high, such as breads, it is recommended to add gluten to a formula low in wheat flour to maintain dough consistency.

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Photo: National Starch Food Innovation


For many kids, not to mention adults with white-bread tastes, the flavor and/or textural perception of whole grain is a turnoff. However, one breakthrough ingredient might provide a solution. Its a 100%-whole-grain wheat flour that combines the nutritional benefits of whole grains with a taste and texture similar to white-flour products, according to Garth Neuffer, spokesperson, ConAgra Food Ingredients, Omaha, NE. Because it has a lighter color, sweeter, milder taste and is ground to a finer texture similar the refined white flour, Ultragrain can be used as 100% substitute for traditional white flour in any number of products, including breads, buns, bagels, rolls, wraps, tortillas, muffins, noodles, pizza crusts, waffles, Frenchtoast sticks, snack and cereal bars. As such, it will deliver all the whole-grain nutrition fiber, B vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients as any 100% whole-wheat product. As a replacement for refined white flour, many foodservice and food manufacturers have begun using Ultragrain in a mix with white flour to deliver a taste as close as possible to what consumers have come to expect from the products they have grown to love. Sara Lees Soft & Smooth Made With Whole Grain white bread utilizes 30% white whole-grain flour in place of traditional white flour. A tortilla used for whole-grain burritos replaces 50% of the regular flour with this ingredient. In a line of whole-grain pizzas dubbed The Max, white wholewheat flour replaces 50% of the white flour. Kids cant tell a difference, Neuffer says. Each slice of pizza contains at least one serving of whole grain. More than 2,600 U.S. school districts are serving these pizzas.

Eventually, Neuffer sees white whole-wheat flour completely replacing refined white flour: This may well evolve over time as consumers grow accustomed to Ultragrain, which has a taste and texture similar to refined white flour but does have its own discernable character. When used as a replacement for whole-wheat flour or in new products, we expect more manufacturers will use Ultragrain closer to the 100% level to get the full benefit

he or she would get almost 12 grams of fiber from these whole grains. Weaving in fiber Rather than add fiber-rich whole grains, product designers can add fiber itself and they have many reasons to do so. You might be using fiber to give a higher fiber content so you can label it as a good source or an excellent source of fiber, says Ang. For any fiber claim, a food must be

Rather than add fiber-rich whole grains, product designers can add fiber itself.

of its whole-grain goodness. The flour is available in hard white wheat (12% minimum protein) and soft white wheat (9% minimum protein). Just switching to whole grains will make a dent in our fiber deficit, but it wont take us all the way there. Whole grains make an important contribution to our fiber needs, but its important to remember they cant carry the entire fiber load for our diets, says Harriman. Most adults are advised by the new guidelines to eat about six ounce-equivalents of grain daily. This means an ounce of finished product, containing on average 16 grams of grain ingredients. If someone ate the minimum 3 servings of whole grains 3 times 16 equals 48 grams he or she would get 5.9 grams of fiber if the products were made with whole-wheat flour. If someone ate all six grain servings as whole grains rather than half and half refined and whole grain

low in fat or it must state total fat content in conjunction with the fiber claim. A good source of fiber must contain at least 10% of the RDI per reference amount; 25 grams is the RDI for fiber in a 2,000-calorie diet. An excellent source of fiber must contain at least 20% of the reference amount. Besides health reasons, designers might add fibers to food products in order to garner a reduced- or low-calorie claim. Fibers take up bulk but dont contribute any calories, Ang says. The legal caloric content of a fiber is dependent on its insoluble-fiber content. Insoluble fiber is considered to be zero calories while soluble fiber is considered to contribute 4 kcal per gram. Cellulose, cottonseed, wheat and bamboo fibers contribute zero calories. Sugar-beet fiber provides 0.6 kcal per gram. Special processing can create functional fibers that might add to the nutriFood Product Design


Some fibers serve multiple purposes. For example, some soy-fiber ingredients can absorb and bind water, as well as help designers meet targeted fiber levels all without negatively affecting flavor.

tional profile of the finished product, but they probably wont bring the level up to a health claim. We produce a whole line of products that deliver specific functions when used in a food product, but the amount that is used in a food product is relatively small, which means that although you are adding fiber in your formulation, you really can get no fiber claim from it, Ang says. A fiber might be used as a fat mimetic to replace some of the functions of fats, or a product designer might used a functional fiber in a muffin or a cake-type product to improve texture, shrink control, volume or color. Typically, 1% of the functional fiber is used in bakery applications. Cakes, muffins, donuts and other similar food products tend to use functional fibers to give them a certain advantage that would improve a certain property in the final food product, he continues. That has nothing to do with fiber fortification. When seeking fibers to add nutritional impact to baked goods, Ang

suggests thinking first about the marketing parameters. If you only care about having the fiber claim, then you have more choices to work with, including cellulose, he suggests. Normally, cellulose is the most-economical source of fiber. However, marketing might dictate the inclusion of a certain fiber to attract purchase interest for example, wheat fiber. Its also important to consider compatibility. If making a cake, cookie or muffin, try to pair it with a fiber that has the right particle size, Ang advises. Typically, if youre going for fiber fortification, a relatively fine powder or a relatively fine, small-particle-size fiber works well, he says. A fine particle size is typically between 20 to 40 microns in fiber length. Color might affect the fiber choice, such as when making a white sandwich bread. Some fibers are creamy-colored, some are yellowish and some are real white, says Ang. Wheat, oat and soy fibers typically have a yellow

cast. Cellulose is the whitest, followed by bamboo and cottonseed. It may also be important to take into account the water-retention properties of the fiber. If youre trying to make a crunchy product, you definitely want a fiber that doesnt hold onto as much liquid as, say, if you are trying to make a soft, moist, chewy cookie, says Ang. With insoluble fibers that are cellulosic in nature, longer fibers tend to hold onto more water than shorter ones. Most fibers hold at least three times their weight, though longer fibers might retain as high as 10 times their weight in water. A gram of wheat fiber with an average length of 35 microns will retain 3.5 grams of water. If that same fiber is processed to a length of 400 microns, it will retain 10 grams of water. Bamboo, a relatively new fiber ingredient, functions much the same as other fibers in bakery applications, but it is unique in that it works well in frostings or icings. Due to its flexible nature, the bamboo fiber tends to give you a creamier mouthfeel, says Ang. Most other fibers give you a chalky, gritty mouthfeel. But with bamboo, the amount of chalkiness or grittiness is reduced significantly. Consumer perception can be a factor. Consumers are becoming more accepting of labels that list cellulose as an ingredient, suggests Ang. More and more consumers are getting educated, he says. They are beginning to understand that there is really no
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Photo: Kerry Ingredients


difference between cellulose and some other fibers, except in what you call the ingredients. Cottonseed is sometimes labeled vegetable fiber. Cottonseed fiber is very commonly used in bakery products. If the ability to label a product natural is important, then sugar-beet fiber is recommended. Ang says that many fibers may be labeled as fiber from a natural source, but most of these have come into contact with chemicals. For those who want to have a natural and organic claim, an organic version of sugar-beet fiber is available. What further differentiates sugar-beet fiber is

fiber in your product. Typically, if you go very high with one kind of fiber, chances are, you can get to where you want. But you can get a better product if you dont just concentrate all the fiber in one source. Prebiotic options Adding prebiotic fiber to baked goods can provide both nutritional and functional benefits. From a health standpoint, these fibers increase beneficial microflora. Additionally, they offer the health benefits of soluble fiber. Inulin is a naturally occurring carbohydrate fructooligosaccharides

Usually, inulin and FOS are added to baked goods at a level needed to achieve a fiber claim.

its high content of soluble fiber. When you look at the composition of wheat, bamboo or cottonseed, they are mostly insoluble, he says. The sugar-beet fiber is made of two different kinds of fiber. It contains an insoluble-fiber fraction, as well as a soluble fiber. Usage levels of fiber will vary based on labeling requirement, application and finished-product attributes. But, as a general rule, insoluble fibers can make up from 4% to 9% of the formula. If you add multiple types of fibers, you can probably, in some cases, approach 15% to 20%, Ang says. It is really dependent on the product you are trying to make. My advice is, if you can, use more than one source of
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(FOS) typically derived from chicory root. Inulin is a general term used to describe chains of fructose molecules with anywhere from 2 to 60 units connected with beta 2-1 bonds, explains Hilary Hursh, food and nutrition scientist, Orafti Active Food Ingredients, Malvern, PA. FOS or oligofructose is a more-specific term to describe short chains of fructose with 2 to 10 units. All FOS is technically inulin, but not all inulin is technically FOS. Both inulin and FOS can be added to baked goods. These fibers can be used for sugar replacement or for replacing a portion of flour to boost fiber content, Hursh continues. Inulin is best suited for yeast-raised applications,

while both ingredients work well with chemical-leavened systems. Usually, inulin and FOS are added to baked goods at a level needed to achieve a fiber claim. Inulin is commonly added to whole-grain breads at a level of 2% to 6% of flour weight to increase rise and improve texture, she notes. Inulin and oligofructose contribute nutritional benefits without a negative impact on texture or flavor. These fibers work very well in conjunction with highintensity sweeteners and polyols and even contribute to Maillard browning, which is often lost in reduced-sugar or sugar-free products. Additionally, inulin and oligofructose do not absorb water like other fibers, making it possible to achieve a crisp cookie with an excellent source of fiber. Litesse polydextrose from Danisco Sweeteners, Ardsley, NY, is a polysaccharide digested as a dietary fiber that does not impart any sweetness. This nonglycemic specialty carbohydrate yields a wide variety of physiological benefits, such as a sustained prebiotic action. It is frequently used in sugar-free and reduced-sugar cakes, cookies and other sweet baked goods, says Donna Brooks, product manager, Danisco Sweeteners. It works well in combination with other polyols, such as lactitol, and with high-intensity sweeteners. Litesse alters the thermal setting properties of baked goods by delaying the gelatinization of starch and, therefore, serves as a very effective low-calorie replacement for sucrose. Litesse will undergo Maillard browning reactions similar to reducing sugars and, therefore, has potential as a browning agent in baked goods. In cake mixes, sugar-replacement levels above 50% might reduce the air-holding capacity of the batter and


increase the batter flow tendencies. Biscuit dough containing this polydextrose will also see some increase in flow, and the resultant product will be slightly harder, producing crisp and light eating characteristics in thin products. It is labeled as polydextrose in the ingredient statement. Arabinogalactan, extracted from larch trees, is a relatively new ingredient. Its a dietary fiber greater than 90% soluble fiber as measured by AOAC method, says Lori Siegler, marketing manager, Larex, Inc., White Bear Lake, MN. For anyone whos looking at adding fiber to a baked good, it also can help with moisture retention. It can be effective in helping to lower water activity. It has some filmforming properties that can help to extend shelf life. It can help with texture improvement in baked goods, improve dough handling by reducing stickiness of the dough and improve external symmetry. Designers have used arabinogalactan at 2% to 10% in bakery products, depending on the product. What differentiates our prebiotic fiber from some of the others on the market is that it ferments very slowly, so you dont get some of the negative side effects that you can get from fibers or prebiotic fibers, such as gas and bloating, says Siegler. Some of the FOS ferment very quickly, and its the fermentation that causes some of the discomfort that you can get from fibers.

Irresistible resistant starch In the world of fiber, resistant starches are shaking things up. Though usually labeled as starch, they are unique. Resistant starch resists alpha-amylase digestion in the body and passes to the large intestine where it is broken down similar to dietary fiber, says Steve Ham, director of marketing specialty ingredients, MGP Ingredients, Inc., Atchison, KS. Resistant starches fall into the following classes: RS1, a physically inaccessible starch found in seeds and legumes; RS2, a granular, ungelatinized starch found in green bananas, potatoes or high-amylose starch; RS3, a retrograded starch formed after gelatinization; and RS4, a chemically modified starch that resists digestion. Resistant starch has some characteristics that simplify its use in baked products. Visually, theres a difference between a traditional fiber and resistant starch, says Ham. Resistant starch is a very fine white powder, whereas most traditional fibers, like bran or other plant-based fibers, are more visually apparent in foods. These visual

aspects help make the resistant starch attractive in applications that may not be traditional high-fiber products, like a blueberry muffin or a waffle. Using resistant starches, a formulator can convert those products to a high-fiber version while still maintaining the sensory properties that consumers expect. We refer to it internally as the invisible fiber, because it performs like a fiber but it doesnt have the appearance or texture of a traditional fiber, which lends some real benefits to a wide range of applications. He feels the most-obvious benefits of these that resistant starches are sensory qualities: the smooth texture, the very white color and the neutral taste. The companys wheat-based resistant starch is 70% dietary fiber, and its potato-based product has 80% dietary fiber. Compared to some other resistant starches, Ham stresses that these products have a low water-holding capacity, making them easier to incorporate into some formulas. It helps in achieving added crispness in snack foods, baked crackers and applications

Prebiotic fibers have much potential in baked goods. While all prebiotics add health benefits, various ingredients can contribute Maillard browning and replace some sugar in reducedcalorie products.

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where crispness is desired, he says. The water-holding capacities are very similar to wheat flour. It can be used at a 1:1 replacement for wheat flour. Usage levels depend on what the customer desires in their application. If theyre trying to achieve, for example, a good source of fiber or excellent source of fiber, there are levels that need to be achieved, Ham says. A good source would be 2.5 grams and high source would be 5 grams per serving. Higher levels can easily be used. At higher levels, there are opportunities to add a wheat protein isolate. When replacing a high percentage of flour, which contains protein, its necessary to add back protein, and a wheat protein isolate is an excellent way to maintain strength in the formula and enhance processing tolerance. Resistant high-amylose corn starch, suggests Witwer, is widely applicable to just about any baked goods, but she notes the upper limit might depend on the application. We know that when it was being used in low-carb foods at 70% flour replacement, she says, we got a loss of quality. Gale Gand, executive pastry chef, Tru, Chicago, and host of the Food Network show Sweet Dreams, was recently challenged to create desserts using National Starchs natural highamylose resistant corn starch. It was surprisingly easy and uneventful, she says. I found that I could use it instead of flour in my pastries, and it replaced wheat flour very easily. I would replace 20% to 25% of the flour in the recipe. I used it in some recipes that I would normally use corn starch to soften the wheat starch. When I made shortbread, in order to make a finer texture, I usually cut my wheat flour with a little bit of corn starch. I just used the resistant starch instead and it functioned exactly the same.
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In Gands experimentation, she didnt find the ingredients use-level threshold. I used a substantial amount, like 25%, she says. I didnt actually find the limit of how much I could switch out. I kept going higher and higher with every recipe and I never found where the ceiling was. She notes that when making a madeleine (a type of spongy, shell-shaped cake), she went to about 35%. I think I could have kept going, she suggests. It provided a really nice, fine-textured crumb. A lot of times you might use cake flour to achieve that kind of texture, which is usually made from a softer wheat, but this way I didnt have to have a special, different flour to get that texture. I just added the resistant starch and sort of created my own. In effect, she used the resistant starch to cut the gluten level in the flour, turning an all-purpose flour to a pastry flour. A benefit of high-amylose resistant corn starch, an RS2 starch, is that it has been widely studied from a health perspective. It has more than 120 published studies supporting the health benefits of the ingredient, says Witwer. Its unclear whether other resistant starches would behave the same. Until those studies are completed and published in journals, its a question, she continues. The resistant wheat starch would work in applications where theyre just looking for a fiber-content claim, but would not be able to make assertions or benefit statements beyond that until the works done. Products containing high-amylose resistant corn starch might provide five health benefits. The first centers on glycemic management. Energy management is the basis for the second benefit. The third one is on weight management. The fourth benefit relates to digestive health, colonic health. The fifth benefit focuses on tolerance. Weve shown in people in numerous trials, you can eat a lot of natural high-

amylose resistant corn starch without getting digestive side effects, because its basically insoluble fiber and it is fermented slowly, Witwer says. Consumers are learning the differences between the quality of carbohydrates in their diet, suggests Witwer. Theyre looking for positive benefits such as whole grain, such as reduced glycemic, such as blood-sugar management and energy management and digestive health, she says. They can choose the carbohydrate that will fit in for their nutritional needs. From a public-health perspective, we want to be able to help deliver functional bakery products that people will want to buy. The answer to that might not be putting high fiber on the front banner of that baked good. In a lot of populations, an energy claim or a blood-sugar claim might prove more appealing to consumers. Weve got to meet consumers where they are in language that they understand. If fiber becomes the nutritional fact that delivers the benefit and is the emotional hook for consumers, then thats where the greatest opportunity lies. The answer, according to Witwer, is the combination: Its the fiber claim. Its the tolerance. Its the health benefits. Its the taste impact. Youve got to have all of it together to really maximize the opportunity. Thankfully, the food industry has available a number of ingredients to meet the challenge of adding fiber to baked goods. If the finished products appeal to consumers, perhaps even satisfy a sweet tooth, health advocates might no longer feel the need to encourage consumers to get enough fiber in their diets. Cindy Hazen, a 20-year veteran of the food industry, is a freelance writer based in Memphis, TN. She can be reached at