Whole wheat products with baked-in cost savings

Jim Marrs
Technical Service Representative,
Horizon Milling

With more than 65% of Americans trying to fit more whole grains into their diets, the market is ripe for whole wheat baked products. Yet increasing whole grain content can present formulation challenges that drive up costs.

Cargill's WheatSelect® white spring whole wheat flour can help food manufacturers avoid some of the added expenses often tied to increasing whole grains while producing products that appeal to the growing whole grain segment. WheatSelect flour has optimal granulation size, mixing resiliency and ability to absorb water can reduce bowl costs and save time and labor.

WheatSelect requires roughly 25% less vital wheat gluten than other white whole wheat flours to produce the same volume; at approximately 90 cents a pound for vital wheat gluten, that's a significant savings. WheatSelect also requires few formulation or processing changes and no other added dough conditioners to achieve the same volume and tolerance as other white whole wheat flours. Also, WheatSelect performs consistently because it doesn't require large adjustments in mixing from batch to batch. 

In addition to keeping costs down, WheatSelect appeals to consumers because it doesn't impart the density, dark color and bitter taste often associated with whole wheat. Instead, it has the light color, soft texture and mild flavor that consumers prefer.

For instance, when one customer wanted to reformulate a popular convenience product into a 100 percent whole wheat version targeted towards school lunch programs, we worked with them to reduce the gluten, sugar and fat in their recipe by 2 percent with a formulation that included WheatSelect white spring whole wheat flour. In addition to generating cost savings by reducing the gluten, a taste panel preferred the new version of the product made with WheatSelect over the one made with white flour.

Whether it's bread, bagels, tortillas, pasta or crackers, WheatSelect flour adds another dimension of whole-grain goodness without the additional costs typically associated with increasing whole grain content. Depending on your application, it could save your company a whole lot of dough.

Jim Marrs is a technical service representative with Horizon Milling, a joint venture between Cargill and CHS Inc. flour milling. He has been with Horizon Milling for all of his 42 years in the industry.