Anchor Yeast recently hosted their annual breakfast seminar exploring the topic of Wholegrains, as well as the food and bakery trends we can expect on our plates this year.

“Our annual event allows us to connect with our colleagues and customers in the baking industry and remind them that, even though there is a lot of information out there on low-carb diets, bread has an inherent value in our diet,” says Lorraine Bezuidenhout (pictured above), Director of Anchor Yeast Bakery Specialties. “And it’s not just us at Anchor Yeast that believe that. By partnering with qualified experts such as dietitians, who use science-based evidence in their presentation, we’re providing our peers with a credible source of information.”

Discussing wholegrains with baking representatives in both Johannesburg and Cape Town was registered Dietitian Monique Piderit (Bsc, M.Dietetics). While the definition of Wholegrains may differ, Piderit explained that wholegrains are grains from cereals, which, after milling (if milled), naturally contain all the components, namely endosperm, bran, germ and all the macronutrients, micronutrients and trace elements of the original unprocessed whole kernel. Wholewheat cereals, breads and pasta, oats, maize (corn) and brown rice are all examples of wholegrain foods.

Wholegrains play a vital role in our body, with the added benefit to our mental well-being. For a mere 50 g / day increase in wholegrains, we can expect a 22% decrease in the risk of total mortality and a 30% decrease for cardiovascular heart disease.

Exciting new research has scientists referring to the gut as “the second brain” as there is a clear and intimate link between the gut and the brain. Through physical and biochemical cross talk and connections, the collection of organisms in our gut, collectively called the gut microbiota, may profoundly and positively influence brain function, mental health (anxiety, depression), and even Parkinson’s disease and schizophrenia, and contribute to overall emotional function and better cognition.

Piderit concluded her presentation with a review of the sustainability of wholegrains. A sustainable diet has a low environmental impact and contributes to food and nutrition security and to healthy life for present and future generations. This is an important consideration as consumers are becoming increasingly interested in the environmental impact of their food. The positive news for the baking industry is that wholegrains are part of a sustainable diet with its very low carbon footprint.

Expected Baking Trends

Shamla Moodley, Marketing Manager for Anchor Yeast, shared some of the expected bakery trends for the year ahead, as well as innovative ingredients to look forward to:

Authenticity

Artisanal breads and rustic baking keep rising in popularity, powered by consumers’ search for authentic experiences. In just a few years, sourdough has moved from speciality shops to supermarket shelves. The challenge for manufacturers is to produce ‘individual’ bakes that create the nostalgic feel of the independent baker, but at scale.

Artisanal products are generally perceived as natural and considered to be healthier, but health conscious consumers may be alarmed to discover significantly higher salt content than in standard breads. add 1.8-2% salt (sometimes more) vs. 1.3-1.4%.

Enrichment

Protein: There’s a growing trend in more developed countries that sees consumers embracing protein enriched bakery goods. Hybrid products, incorporating ingredients like pulses, ancient grains, nuts etc, are perceived as nutritious. Companies, like Hovis in the UK, are taking advantage of such synergies. They have introduced a low carb bread, with 30% less carbohydrates, as well as added wheat protein and fibre.

Vegetables: Bakery products containing vegetables is a way to create interest, with positive nutrition. Using brightly coloured veggies, such as beetroot, carrot, spinach and turmeric, provides flavour, nutrition and colour.

No Undesirables

The gluten-free trend is expected to continue beyond 2019. This growth comes from consumers who opt for the perceived health benefits of gluten free products, rather than a drastic increase in Celiac patients.  Removing gluten causes formulation challenges.  Pulse flours are an attractive alternative. They are a good source of plant-based replacement protein and can enhance texture and contribute to better colour development.

Zero Waste

With the rise of the ethical consumer, bakeries are under increasing pressure to act responsibly. Around 88 million tonnes of food is estimated to be wasted each year in the Europe. The overproduction of bread is a striking example. Figures from UK retailer Tesco suggest that up to 44% of bread produced in the UK is thrown away.

In first world countries, you have consumer preference for clean label, with no additives to protect shelf life on one hand vs the high wastage of bread on the other. Manufacturers need to continually explore how to naturally increase shelf life, and enzymes to tackle staleness and smaller pack sizes are some options. Commercial and production efficiency is also receiving much attention to reduce cost and ensure energy efficient operations. Evaluate technology to decrease processing times and increases yield.

Innovative Ingredients to look out for

Activated Charcoal: Activated charcoal is made from coconut shells, bamboo or plant materials that have been fired with oxygen to make it porous. Recently they have found their way into food products, to deliver a perceived detox benefit. Even though activated charcoal is used in food and beauty products, the amount is insignificant for it to amount to any health or medical benefits.

Lichen: Lichen, a moss-like, hardy fungus-like species that grows on plants, tree bark and rocks could be used to make nutritious food products, even bread. According to the designer of a range products on the screen, lichens could offer a source of nutrition in a future food shortage.

Dulse: The use of Dulse seafood is on the increase and known for its high vitamin A content and an aphrodisiac and added to bread recipes, burgers and even beer. It is also used as a sprinkle over many foods.

Cannabis: Cannabis – well, now that its legal in many US states, and even in SA, food companies are experimenting with CBD oil. From chocolate bars to gummy bears to tea, cannabis-infused food products are being recognised for their therapeutic effects. You can even get CBD-infused pet treats for dogs and cats suffering from anxiety.

Tri-tor-deum: Tri- tor- Deum was recently awarded the Ingredient of the Year. This is a cereal developed from durum wheat and wild barley, with high dietary fibre levels, with positive effect on cardiovascular health. Compared to wheat, it  has a significant reduction in gluten proteins associated with food intolerances.

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