New potato-based starch adds fiber to gluten-free bakery – and beyond

By Caroline Scott-Thomas

- Last updated on GMT

New potato-based starch adds fiber to gluten-free bakery – and beyond

Related tags: Nutrition

Penford Food Ingredients has developed a new potato-based resistant starch ingredient for adding fiber to a wide range of foods, including both gluten-free and gluten-containing baked goods, cereals, yogurt and snacks.

Director of research and development at Penford Food Ingredients Bryan Scherer told FoodNavigator-USA that the ingredient has particular potential for adding nutritional value to gluten-free applications, which may sometimes be nutritionally inferior to their gluten-containing counterparts.

He said that the company’s initial objective for gluten-free applications was to look at products from a sensory standpoint, in terms of texture and mouthfeel.

“Then we took it to phase two, nutritional enhancement for gluten free,”​ he said.

However, Scherer said that the new ingredient’s potential for enhancing products’ nutritional content was not restricted to gluten-free products, and said it was also well-suited for fiber enrichment of gluten-containing breads and cereals.

The ingredient, called PenFibe RS, contains about 85% dietary fiber on a dry solids basis and has a bland flavor and color, allowing it to work well in many different applications.

Apart from adding fiber, Scherer said it could also cut calories in a finished product and would be suitable for products for diabetics.

“We found that it has a zero glycemic response, so we are looking at it for diabetic type products,” he​ said.

The ingredient has only 0.7 calories per gram, as opposed to about 4 calories per gram for protein and carbohydrates, and about 9 calories per gram for fat.

But the main attraction for manufacturers would be adding fiber, which could allow them to make fiber-related claims, he said. If a company is looking to make a ‘good source of fiber’ claim, a product needs to contain at least 2.5g of dietary fiber per serving, while to make an ‘excellent source of fiber’ claim a product must contain at least 5g of fiber per serving.

“We have found – and local bakeries have told us – that our product is very easy to substitute in without having to reformulate,”​ said Scherer.

Penford’s president John Randall added that the company was on track with building an innovative line of products for the health and wellness market – and this new ingredient worked well alongside the company’s existing product portfolio.

“PenFibe RS is a synergistic companion product to our gluten-free lineup. It has so many healthy attributes that are market-right. It’s non-allergenic, provides fiber and is non-GMO,”​ he said.

Scherer added that there are several other potential applications in the pipeline for PenFibe RS, including as a dietary supplement, prebiotic ingredient, or beyond human nutrition, in pet foods.

The ingredient would be labeled as ‘modified food starch’ on ingredient lists.

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