Baking with fabulous fibre

Foods with high levels of fibre are in great demand among consumers with healthy lifestyles. BakerSA took a look at the applications and functions of fibre in baking, as well as what makes roughage so wholesome.



Derived from plant-based sources like grains, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruit, fibre is a readily available ingredient for healthy baked goods.


Bran or whole-wheat flour can be added to cookies, muffins, cakes, breads and bagels; whole oats to cookies, scones, muffins and crumbles.


Oat flour can replace wheat flour or be blended with other gluten-free flours to create nutritious baked products. When using oat flour instead of wheat flour it must be kept in mind that sufficient rise must be facilitated by adding additional yeast and baking powder.


Healthy nuts and seeds such as pistachio, walnuts, pecans and sesame seeds can be crushed or chopped for use in cookies, muffins and cakes.


When adding fresh or dried fruit to cookies, cakes and pies, remember to make provision for the fibre-rich peel of fruits such as apples and pears.


Fibre’s functions in baking

Whole and rolled oats give a nutty taste and crunchy texture to baked goods, while breads and tortillas are often enriched with fibre to retain moisture or add crispness.


Fibre that originate from cereal grains is referred to as “cereal fibre” and is used in health breads to provide a more nourishing product. Cereal fibre includes whole-wheat bread flour, whole-wheat pastry flour, oat flour and barley flour. When compared to white flour, these impart a sweet, nutty flavour to baked products.


Using fibre instead of fat in baking creates a product with a lower caloric content that offers longer satiety, and provides greater nutritious value.


In addition to nutritional and functional benefits, dietary fibres can assist manufacturers in meeting clean label requirements, since they are GMO-free, kosher, halaal and often organic.


Fibre’s health benefits

The terms “dietary” and “functional” denote certain characteristics of different types of fibre and the elements that constitute the fibre source. Functional fibre is extracted from its natural source and added to food additives or fortified foods and drinks to boost their fibre content. Dietary fibre consists of a combination of non-digestible carbohydrates and lignin.


The two types of dietary fibre – soluble and insoluble – are imperative for good digestive health. Since soluble fibre dissolves in water to form a gel-like substance in the intestines, it aids digestion and helps to lower cholesterol and glucose levels in the body. Soluble fibre is found in oats, barley, peas, carrots, beans, apples and citrus fruits.


Insoluble fibre enables the passage of food in the digestive tract and promotes the movement of material through the digestive system. Whole-wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts, green beans, cauliflower and potatoes are good sources of insoluble fibre.


Innovative fibre solutions

Danlink Ingredients’ Fibrex® sugar beet fibre is made from processed sugar beets and is therefore by nature gluten free. This clean label ingredient is an excellent source of dietary fibre and ensures moisture retention in many gluten-free formula­tions. The ability of the fibre to quickly absorb and then slowly release moisture back in products post baking helps to overcome the challenges of dryness and crumb degrada­tion.


Fibrex® comes in a range of grades which can be utilised in all types of products – from biscuits and wafers, to breads, cakes and muffins.


Healthy, high-fibre bread is easy to produce with the right ingredients and knowledge about how to use them. Over the years, DuPont Nutrition & Health has built a range of innovative solutions for bread recipes based on wholegrain wheat and other flour types. The intention is always to help bakers make excellent products without any compromises in quality.


Using this knowledge, the DuPont bakery team has now created a solution for healthy, tasty tortillas that satisfy daily recommendations for fibre intake. Bakery trials have proven the solution works in tortilla recipes based on 100% wholegrain wheat flour and 100% rye flour.


The tortillas produced stay soft and moist throughout their shelf life. Due to their fibre content, they also qualify for an EFSA-approved, high-fibre claim on the packaging – a great way to highlight a healthy profile and target a wider consumer group.


Sources: SFGate
Mayo Clinic






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