Benexia brings innovation to IBIE with a new flour alternative for keto and healthy baking: chia flour, high in fiber and protein, to supply ‘innovation with nutrition’ to healthier baking while meeting specific dietary trends for today’s consumer.
This September at IBIE, Benexia, the global expert and producer in exclusively chia ingredients, will be sharing their chia flour in delicious innovative applications with the public, so attendees can discover the ingredient in baking applications like keto and gluten-free bread, better-for-you muffins, cookies, brownies, and snacks.
On site to converse about them throughout IBIE will be master baker and alternative-flours specialist Steven Fry, who developed these specific innovations. Steven will be available to discuss the use of chia and other specialty / functional flours that perform exceptionally in bakery and snack applications and converse about his experience with South American flours that he produces in Chile at his mill like amaranth, red rice, almond, or quinoa flours.
Steven will be available at the Benexia’s booth #5770, shared with Powell May International, in Las Vegas, September 18-21.
Master Miller and Baker
Steven is a 4th-generation miller and master baker. His parents started their journey in the baking business in Europe in the 1960s and moved to Chile in the 1970s, already the 4th generation of bakery specialists. They started their own family business near Santiago, Chile, in 1992. Their knowledge and expertise of clean baking technologies, their access to regional high-quality ingredients, and their technical know-how in baking and milling processing created an opportunity to serve a new, healthier, alternative to the baking market, utilizing ancient grains that have grown for centuries in South America in tandem with the experience of generations of experience in Europe.
At HACE Productos Alimenticios, a specialty milling and blending facility, Steven and his team mill, manufacture, and mix special flour blends for customers who are looking for breads, muffins, cookies, cakes and more in better-for-you baking and for specific diets styles like gluten-free, clean eating, and of special interest including the increasingly popular Keto diet space.
To accomplish these results, Steven uses the best of art (and family know-how) and science, along with modern technology, applied to ancient practices. With local ingredients from the region, his formulations use the least possible but also the best technological helpers (like additives), by taking advantage of the inherent functionalities of these alternative flours.
Steven has integrated Benexia’s Xia Powder 435 LM (Chia high protein fiber powder) in his healthy bread and low carb pastry lines for the past several years, starting in 2018. Low Carb, Gluten Free, High Fiber, Keto Bread and Muffins/Cakes, and Ancient Grains are his best sellers, all including up to 10% Chia Fiber from Benexia.
It’s All About Higher Fiber and Lower Sugar
Better-for-you baking is about meeting consumers dietary styles and health needs, while still being delicious and indulgent. It may seem impossible, but not if you’re using the right ingredients and scientific know-how to create products that deliver. This is where Steven’s expertise, as well as some of the inherent qualities chia flour, come in.
When it comes to fiber, baked goods are the most well-primed carrier to help significantly boost fiber in diets. Considering less than 5% of Americans are meeting the daily fiber recommendation,1 it is imperative that the food industry make efforts through innovations to help close this gap. Consumers want it to come in easily accessible and versatile forms, ideally alongside other nutritional benefits. But most of all, it has to taste great! At the same time, consumers are seeking to cut back on added sugars, due to concerns for blood sugar management, triglycerides (a risk factor for heart disease), weight management, and chronic inflammation.
Breaking Food Myths
The bakery industry has a special imperative to decrease sugar content in products. This is absolutely possible by utilizing certain alternative functional flours. Although successfully replacing sugar without sacrificing taste may seem impossible, there are solutions. While breads, muffins, and better-for-you cookies and cakes are already a terrific potential carrier of fiber, some alternative functional flours can not only substantially boost the amount and type of fiber present, but also help replace sugar and provide the function that was once assigned to sugar.
For example, by substituting 10% chia fiber in a bakery product premix adds 3 grams of fiber per 60 gram serving, while retaining moisture, texture, crumb, and a neutral, pleasing flavor. This flour substitution also provides nutritional value-added with a good source of plant omega-3s, an additional 1.5 grams high-quality protein per serving, as well as extended shelf-life stability.
Keto Diet: An Imperative for Bakery Today
You can’t scroll health and nutrition topics online or even stroll the actual aisles a supermarket without seeing the word keto front and center. Keto is certainly one of the hottest growing diet styles happening today and poised to continue expanding over the next decade. This being the case, it’s also where bakery traditionally has fallen in the ‘forbidden’ territory, with the notion that making bakery ‘low carb’ was simply not possible. But alternative functional flours and blends have made the impossible, possible. In fact, a functional flour like chia flour can help make keto bakery goods.
In the important pursuit of sugar reduction to lower the net carbs, chia flour can help by providing the bulk that would be lost with sugar by removing the need for fillers, and effectively becomes major carrier of fiber (lowering net carbs), while simultaneously overcoming many of the functional challenges on texture and moisture that simply removing the sugar would create otherwise.
In today’s marketplace, a food brand almost can’t afford to not offer a Keto option, especially now this it’s achievable with simple, clean label formulation options.
Chia Flour: Function Plus Nutrition
Chia flour, for food industry innovations and product development, is defatted and processed using no solvents, chemicals, or water. It’s simply processed to maintain nutrients quality, consistency, particle size, taste and an impressive shelf life. Benexia’s Xia Powder 435 LM (Chia high protein fiber powder) is a 40-mesh standardized powder. As we know with a whole food-based ingredient, even with natural extraction methods, you never completely isolate all the nutrients. So, the added benefit is that chia flour still provides a good quantity of high-quality protein, fiber, and some essential plant omega-3 fats. This flour consists of 56% dietary fiber, 25% protein, 5% plant omega-3 ALA, and other compounds (including some minerals and phytochemicals) in the remaining roughly 15%.
Chia flour provides a high fiber content, as well as some natural prebiotics, high-quality protein, and an excellent source of omega-3 to a finished bakery product.
Chia is naturally gluten free, allergen-free (no known cases), and non-GMO. In baking, it can be used as a gum replacer, an egg replacer for vegan products, and a simple way to swap for a more healthful oil into a product. For example, swapping in omega-3/polyunsaturated fats from chia for butter with saturated fats or sunflower oil that has less-healthy omega-6 fats that have been typically used.
Shelf life and taste
Chia flour adds moisture and extends shelf-life, due to how it bonds to water. This functional flour can be a texturizer and a crumb enhancer as well. Chia flour particles can help replace undesired texturizers, and achieve impressive results. And for gluten-free bakery, chia flour can provide the moisture and crumb texture that gluten typically offers to a baked good. Chia flour can be used as a full swap for wheat flour 1:1. However, with as little as a 10% replacement of other flours in the bakery recipe, it can provide significant value in terms of nutrition and nutrient label claims: good source of fiber, source of plant protein, and good source of omega-3 ALA per serving.
With a neutral-to-nutty flavor, chia flour can be used across the bakery category from breads, muffins (keto muffins among them), to better-for-you cookies, breakfast items, cakes, doughs, premixes and more.
Benexia Xia Powder 435 LM is produced under GFSI, Kosher, Halal and RTE certifications, making it an appropriate ingredient for both highly processed products as well as 100% natural, clean label products.
Today, the selection of ingredients in product innovation or reformulation is expected—almost required—to have stake in actively moving toward or already producing in a sustainable fashion. The chia seed from Benexia is, and has always been, sustainably produced using regenerative agricultural systems that combine no-till farming to protect the soil, natural soil nutrition, and crop rotation. Benexia farmers, who are also shareholders, keep natural barriers in their fields for fauna and flora preservation. And with a mindset of modern industrial eco-friendly technological innovations, Benexia works at all levels toward positively impacting its people, the community, and the environment.
Chia is grown from arguably the most sustainable practices on the planet through regenerative agriculture. It’s grown, harvested, and processed with zero water inputs aside from Mother Nature herself and using innovative electrical power processing technologies specially designed for keeping all the actives nutrients and functional benefits of the chia seed present, while guaranteeing ingredients at the highest quality standards.
The future is promising with alternative functional flours that bring versatility in bakery. They can delivery on nutrition, texture, and performance—and they taste great, too.
Benexia Xia Powder 435 LM is one of these functional flours that’s steeped in history and full of performance for today’s consumer demand for healthier food products.
Benexia is exclusively dedicated to chia. As a global expert and producer with decades spent specializing in its industrial production, Benexia has developed a wide range of clean ingredients from chia specifically designed for food, beverage, and supplement applications. With a combination of regenerative farming expertise, extensive supply chain experience, and modern technological innovations to preserve the nutrient quality, shelf-life and stability of the chia seed and chia ingredients, Benexia is committed to guaranteeing the delivery and dedicated support of regeneratively farmed, superior quality to their industry customers and partners.
- Dahl WJ, Stewart ML. Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Health Implications of Dietary Fiber. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2015;115(11):1861-1870. doi:10.1016/j.jand.2015.09.003
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