Going gluten-free: Is there a conflict between wheat & gluten?

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11 Jul 2018 --- European starch specialist, Kröner-Stärke has declared that there does not have to be a conflict between going gluten-free and still being able to enjoy the taste and functional properties that wheat has to offer. Thanks to the high-quality raw materials, it is possible to produce gluten-free bakery products, sauces, batters and coatings using 100 percent naturally produced wheat starches with the gluten content washed out, according to the company.

The need for gluten-free foods is driving innovation across many food sectors. Bakery is the leading market category for products with free from claims, with dairy and sauces & seasonings in second and third place respectively. Data from Innova Market Insights shows that one in 10 bakery products has a free from claim. This is mostly down to the fact that gluten-free is the top free from claim in food & beverage launches. 

For those companies wishing to increase their market share in the food sector, a competitive edge can be created by adding gluten-free products to their ranges – especially if they are produced to clean-label standards. Strong demand for gluten-free products has been witnessed across Europe in recent years and is expected to continue to grow as more and more people go gluten-free as a conscious lifestyle choice.

Kröner-Stärke’s gluten-free native wheat starch, Sanostar, is an ideal way of maximizing opportunities in the buoyant European bakery sector, says the company. The starch is produced without adding any enzymes or process aids and the gluten is washed out using 100 percent pure untreated spring water.  

In bakery products such as cakes and biscuits, Sanostar offers sensory and functional properties which create a high-quality final product. In comparison with corn and tapioca starches, gluten-free wheat starches provide better baking properties combined with a taste experience similar to traditional recipes, according to the company. 

Henrik de Vries, Commercial Manager at Kröner-Stärke, tells FoodIngredientsFirst: “As we have been producing gluten-free products already since the 1990s we don´t see it as only a short-term trend. From our point of view, the quality of the products is going to improve further. The focus here will be the implementation of clean label recipes and to achieve comparable taste to standard products.”

“As a wheat processing company, it is our biggest challenge to produce gluten-free products in the same factory. We are in the position to produce gluten-free products without any process aids or enzymes. To achieve these results is only possible by strict cleaning processes. Our staff are trained over many years to avoid any gluten contamination,” he explains. 

Sanostar is a versatile, functional ingredient. It is not only a replacement for traditional baking ingredients but also works as a gluten-free binding agent for sauces such as béarnaise or béchamel – making it ideal for use in applications such as ready meals or ready made sauces. In addition, it can be used as a raw material for the production of gluten-free batters or coatings for creating a gluten-free range of popular products such as chicken nuggets or fish fingers.

It is important to be able to create gluten-free wheat based products that have a good texture and the ability to stay fresher for longer. Sanogel, one of Kröner-Stärke’s cold swelling pre-gelatinized starches, has been developed with this purpose in mind. It provides bakers with viscosity and texture control as well as helping with the stabilization of dough. An added benefit with this type of starch is its ability to increase water absorption and dough hydration which then goes on to improve the shelf life of the baked goods, says the company.

Clean label ingredients and gluten-free starches such as Sanostar and Sanogel help to keep labeling simple. Both can be declared as gluten-free wheat starches and are suitable for people intolerant to gluten.

Andrew Ulrick, Director of Ulrick & Short, Kröner-Stärke’s partner in the UK comments: “There is little doubt that the gluten-free wheat starches produced by Kröner-Stärke are highly functional. Market demand for gluten-free continues to grow, and in the case of Sanostar & Sanogel, consumers can feel totally confident that even with a ‘wheat starch’ declaration these products are functionally and nutritionally suitable for a gluten-free diet.”

In response to this expected growth, the company has also developed a range of gluten-free pre-mixes for making bread and cake products, as well as offering complete mixes for gluten-free batter.

By Elizabeth Green

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