Cakes are bakery products that are rich in sugar, fat and eggs, and can be accompanied with a wide variety of inclusions like fruits and flavors.

Snack Bars

What are Snack Bars?

Snack bars are ready-to-eat baked products made with a variety of ingredients such as granola, oats, chocolate, dried fruits, nuts, coconut oil, honey, peanut butter, or others.1

Portability and nutrition are the main characteristics of snack bars. Consumers view them as a great alternative to highly caloric baked products when looking for nutritious and fulfilling snacks.1  Snack bars can be classified into three main groups:1

  • Health and wellness snack
  • Organic snack bars
  • Energy and nutrition bars


Snack bars most likely originated in the US. The invention of granola bars is disputed between two US inventors. However, the invention is mostly credited to MIT’s inventor Stanley Mason.2

The expansion of this baked product category is attributed to its perceived health benefits in comparison with traditional highly caloric snacks such as cookies, chips, and popcorn.


Snack bars are made with a variety of ingredients including:1

Ingredient Type Function
Cereal Grains Oats, rice, corn, among others.
  • Bulking agent
  • Provide dietary fiber
Nuts Walnuts, almonds, nuts, pecans, etc
  • Bulking agent
  • Provide dietary fiber
Protein Powders Soy protein powder, whey powder
  • Increase protein content
Sweeteners Liquid sweeteners or honey
  • Sweet taste
  • Ingredient binding
Fats Coconut oil, vegetable shortening
  • Ingredients binding
  • Improve mouthfeel
Dried fruits Cherries, raisins, etc
  • Bulking agent
  • Provide nutritional value


Typical nutritional value of commercially available snack bars per 100 grams serving:1

Component Breakfast Bar Multigrain Bar Protein Performance Bar
Carbohydrate 66.7 55.1 53
Protein 9.8 18.5 25.0
Lipids 17.6 13.2 10.0
Moisture 4.1 8.0 9.0
Ash 1.8 3.1 3.0

The most commonly perceived benefits of snack bars are their high fiber content, antioxidant components, vitamins and minerals, and high-quality protein content.

Commercial production

Snack bars are commercially produced through the following process:1

  1. Dry ingredients mixing: cereals such as oats and nuts are mixed together.
  2. Wet ingredients mixing: honey, coconut oil, or liquid sweetener are mixed separately.
  3. Mixing: dried and wet ingredients are mixed to form a uniform dough.
  4. Moulding: the mixture is placed in the desired mould.
  5. Baking: various temperature-time combinations are used depending on the composition and final product desired characteristics.
  6. Cooling: snack bars are left to cool down to room temperature.
  7. Packaging


Snack bars are a good alternative snack for health-conscious consumers who prefer highly nutritious food products with acceptable organoleptic characteristics.

A wide variety of snack bars can be produced depending on the consumer’s wants and needs. Following are some of the most popular snack bar formulations:1

Snack Bars Processing conditions
Fruit-based Baked at 130 oC (266 oF) for 15 min
Wheat or soy-based Baked at 85 oC (185 oF) for 4 min
Fruit-based and vegetable-based Baked at 160 oC (320oF) for 10 min
Vegetable-based Baked at 120 oC (248oF) for 30 min


  1. Constantin, O.E, and Istrati, D.I . “Functional properties of snack bars.” Functional Foods. IntechOpen, 2018.
  2. ​​”Happy National Granola Bar Day | The Whole Grains Council.” Wholegrainscouncil.Org, 2021, Accessed 19 December 2021.
  3. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). US Department of Health and Human Services. CFR Code of Federal Regulations Title 21, Part 101 Food Labeling, , Accessed 19 December 2021.
  4. European Commission (EC). Commission Regulation (EU) No 1924/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foods. Official Journal Of European Communities, 20 December 2006. Accessed 19 December 2021.

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