Government agencies are recommending more fiber consumption. Surveys show consumers seek more fiber in their diet, too. To meet these needs, food manufacturers should know different ways exist to incorporate fiber into their products.
A new specialty wheat flour, for example, offers more fiber since it comes from varieties with increased fiber levels. How fiber is extracted from oats may determine the level of fiber and phytonutrients in the resulting oat fiber ingredient. Finally, legumes offer not only fiber but also protein and other nutrients.
The International Food Information Council Foundation’s 2017 Food and Health Survey found 87% of respondents said they considered fiber to be healthy. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020 considers dietary fiber, calcium, potassium and vitamin D as nutrients of public health concern because low intakes are associated with health concerns. MarketsandMarkets forecasts the global fiber market to have a compound annual growth rate of 11.6% from 2017 to 2022, reaching a value of $6.5 billion.
Doubling the fiber in wheat
Wheat normally is about 12.2% dietary fiber, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Nutrient Database, but Bay State Milling, Quincy, Mass., now offers a HealthSense flour with a high fiber level. The flour comes from wheat that is more than 25% dietary fiber, said Naggie T. Jeradechachai, cultivar development scientist for Bay State Milling, in an Oct. 9 presentation in San Diego at Cereals 17, the annual meeting of AACC International. Flour milled from hard white spring wheat and hard red winter wheat is available. Ms. Jeradechachai said potential applications include bread, pasta, tortillas, bagels, crackers, cookies and pretzels.
The wheat has more fiber than traditional wheat because it is more than 65% amylose starch, which compares to traditional wheat with 25% amylose and 75% amylopectin, Ms. Jeradechachai said. The result is a higher level of resistant starch, which has been shown to provide benefits in a lower glycemic response and more probiotic bacteria, she said. The fiber in HealthSense flour meets the Food and Drug Administration definition of intrinsic and intact fiber, according to Bay State Milling.
Bay State Milling is the exclusive North American licensee of the high-amylose trait in wheat. The licensor is Arista Cereal Technologies, a joint venture between Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and Limagrain Céréales Ingrédients.
Not discarding oat fiber
Oats are about 10.6% fiber, according to the U.S.D.A. Different ways exist to extract the fiber from oats.
Grain Millers, Inc., Eden Prairie, Minn., uses a chemical-free process to manufacture its oat fibers. Chemical processes will extract or discard some of the fiber components while extracting it, but none of the fiber is discarded in the chemical-free milling processes used by Grain Millers, said Rajen Mehta, Ph.D., senior director, specialty ingredients. All the naturally occurring phytonutrients, antioxidants and minerals are preserved in the company’s intrinsic and intact fiber.
“Because (our fibers are) intrinsic and intact, we do have some very unique benefits, since we preserve the phytonutrients and the antioxidants,” he said.
The intrinsic and intact oat fibers from Grain Millers are usually more cost-effective than other categories/forms of fiber. The company’s oat fibers also may reduce breakage in such products as melba toast, crackers, cereal and pita chips, another cost-reduction benefit, Dr. Mehta said.
The oat fibers from Grain Millers come in different types. BCS 30-FL allows food to snap off easier, Dr. Mehta said.
“You have a certain crispiness,” he said. “You have a hardness.”
Such attributes would add crispiness to cereal or firmness to bars.
It differs from BCS 30-SL, which “will give you a little more of a sway when you are flexing food,” Dr. Mehta said. BCS 30-SL, because it allows flexing, could add chewiness to bars.
BCS 41 and BCS 42 contain both soluble and insoluble oat fiber and thus have some properties of hydrocolloids.
Every oat fiber offered by Grain Millers comes in either organic or conventional form. Most are offered in gluten-free versions.
Protein, fiber in legumes
Legumes are excellent sources of protein and fiber, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americas 2015-2020. Legumes are a source of nutrients such as potassium and folate that also are found in other vegetables. They include kidney beans, pinto beans, white beans, black beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), lima beans (mature, dried), split peas, lentils, and edamame (green soybeans).
Pulses are a subset of legumes. Grams of fiber per 100 grams in pulses include 31 grams for lentils, 26 grams for dry peas and 17 grams for chickpeas, according to the USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council, Moscow, Idaho.
Beans also may be pulses. Archer Daniels Midland Co., Chicago, offers a portfolio of bean and pulse-based ingredients and inclusions. VegeFull is a line of cooked, dehydrated beans and bean ingredients. Potential applications include pasta, snack foods, bread, tortillas and dips.