Fiber in baked goods… it’s an interesting dilemma. Insoluble fiber is a bulking agent with health benefits and zero calories. It’s also woven into the key ingredients of bread: whole grains and wheat bran.
Insoluble fiber is also found in a variety of foods, including:
- nuts and seeds
- wheat bran
- whole grain foods
What’s the problem with insoluble fiber?
The fiber interferes with and dilutes the gluten in grains. This in turn reduces loaf volume and increases firmness. It also soaks up water like crazy. So although your bread may have better health benefits, the quality and taste takes a dive.
What’s the solution?
There’s more than one! You could add enzymes, such as xylanase, to help degrade fiber’s cell wall. You could also use smaller sized fiber, that has less of a negative impact. Adding more gluten to counteract it is another option.
Resistant wheat starch is a great way to give baked goods the added health benefits of fiber, and actually IMPROVE the quality of your product.
What about labeling it?
Insoluble fiber is GRAS. Depending on the type of insoluble fiber, care might be required in regards to labeling requirements. For instance, Xanthan gum is commonly labeled as E415, a formal food additive. Additionally, cellulose is commonly labelled as E460. Consult the FDA Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) for specific labeling requirements.