Bakers can save production time and win health-conscious consumers with pre-soaked ancient grains, according to creator Corbion Caravan.
The bakery ingredient specialist has developed a pre-soaked mix of amaranth, quinoa and chia for use in a range of breads. Launched across the US, the mix can be added directly to the formulation.
The pre-soaked grains enable bakers to incorporate healthy ingredients easily and quickly, said Carrie Johnston, product category manager at Corbion Caravan.
“Grains must be pre-soaked and cooked to break down the outer shell, softening it and making it ready for consumption. Using pre-cooked and pre-soaked product saves time and money,” Johnston told BakeryandSnacks.com.
Manual cooking and back-of-house grain soaking can take as long as 24 hours and is very labor-intensive, she said, but this option is convenient.
Shelf life or pre-soaked product is also longer, under refrigeration, which means manufacturers can save money because there is less waste, she added.
Hitting the health halo
Consumer trends are driving industry requests for ancient grain options – which prompted the development, Johnston said.
“Consumers have begun to associate a health halo with ancient grain – particularly amaranth, quinoa and chia. These items are becoming more mainstream, providing high levels of protein and grain benefit when added to a whole grain recipe.”
The depth of flavor, texture and visual properties of these grains are also enjoyed by consumers, she said.
The blend was chosen specifically because it offers a balance of healthy grains, nutty flavor and visual appeal, she added.
Less processing also has consumer appeal
While less processing saves time and money for manufacturers, it also appeals to the consumer, Johnston said.
“Consumers are looking for items which are close to nature. Less handling is equated with more ‘natural’,” she said.
“Ancient grains are largely organic, which consumers associate with ‘minimally processed’ and healthier. The soaking and cooking process Corbion undertakes makes the grains easily consumable and user-friendly, without infringing on the pure, whole, quality of the grain.”