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By David Feder, RD, Technical Editor | 01/29/2009
Even leavening provides an opportunity for innovation in healthy baking. “When a calcium-based leavening acid such as calcium acid pyrophosphate [CAPP] is used to substitute for sodium-based leavening acids, it can provide sodium reductions up to 26 percent,” says ICL’s Heidolph. “Depending on the formulation and leavening acid that is being replaced, CAPP can be used in a variety of better-for-you baked goods such as cakes, biscuits, muffins and other baked goods.”
ICL makes Levona Brio and Levona Opus CAPP leavening acids. They can replace sodium-based leavening agents, such as sodium acid pyrophosphate or sodium aluminum phosphate. Another benefit is the addition of calcium; in some applications, they contribute enough to allow a calcium claim on the label.
“The acids’ controlled release occurs during important stages of baking, providing ideal volume and texture while not contributing to the overall sodium content,” says Heidolph.
Additionally, AHD International (www.ahdintl.com ), Atlanta, recently announced bakery applications for LuraLean, a condensed, dietary fiber formula designed to promote weight loss, maintain healthy cholesterol levels already within the normal range and support regularity. It can withstand high temperatures without breaking down or losing efficacy and can be used in products such as nutrition bars, breads, cookies and crackers.
“Because LuraLean expands to 200 times its original size only after it reaches the stomach, just a small amount is required to deliver high fiber content,” says John Alkire, company president. “LuraLean is the perfect ingredient for manufacturers who want to create a broad range of high-fiber foods, without the end product being overly dense or lacking in taste.”
21st-century technology is all well and good, but some opportunities for healthy baking’s future can be drawn from its past. “Due to its flavors and textures, olive oil has been a hallmark of the healthy Mediterranean Diet for over 2,500 years,” and is a fine ingredient for baking, says Dun Gifford, founder and president of Boston-based think-tank Oldways Preservation Trust (www.oldwayspt.org).
“Olive oil adds vibrant flavors and textures to Mediterranean foods and is high in healthy, monounsaturated fats along with antioxidants,” he says. Baking with olive oil instead of butter reduces the amount of cholesterol and saturated fat in formulations. Olive oil produces lighter-tasting breads, brownies, biscotti and cakes. Also, baking formulations often require less olive oil than butter.
Oldways is originator of the popular, 15-year-old Mediterranean Diet effort, and oversees the Whole Grains Council, an international program supporting increased consumption of whole grains.
In one of the most successful efforts to increase whole grain awareness and consumption, the Whole Grains Council (www.wholegrainscouncil.org) developed the Whole Grain Stamp. It’s offered to food processors for use on compliant products as a marketing tool to help consumers quickly spot foods containing at least a half serving (8g) of whole grains. So far, nearly 2,000 products bear the stamp.
“Developed with their little brains in mind,” Wonder+ Headstart bread has whole grain and omega-3 DHA.
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