Strategies for Determining Gluten-free Flour Quality
The gluten-free market holds a substantial share in the bakery market, with an expected cumulative growth of about 10% until 2025. From bread to cake and everything in between, there is room for innovation in the market. Producing a quality and consistent gluten-free product hinges on the ingredients used. The replacement solutions available today are vast and varied. However, they all need to fill in for key gluten functionality, as well as be held to a standard of quality and reliability.
Gluten provides three key functions in baking formulas:
Network: the gluten protein cluster forms an elastic network that provides stretching and extensibility to the baked goods.
Functionality: gluten aids in dough formation by reacting with water to form gas pockets during the mixing process. The elasticity of the network aids in raising the dough during proofing and baking by entrapping the air. The network elasticity aids to avoid dough collapse in these processing steps.
Texture: the gluten network provides a unique texture to the baked products due to the earlier discussed properties above.
Checking gluten-free flour quality
While developing gluten-free products, finding a single ingredient replacement is extremely difficult to provide the same functionality. Furthermore, gluten-free products are also vulnerable to quality variability and limitations in quality control tools. Here are some necessary steps to consider for developing successful gluten-free products:
Functional alternative raw material
Consistent quality of raw material
Formulation adaptation for variation in raw material
Achieving optimum water level depending on mixing and baking properties
Improving product quality using dough strengthening enzymes
Analyzing rheological properties of doughs and mixes
Learn more about gluten-free flour quality tests and control in our free paper. Download it here.
Nirzar Doshi is an MSc graduate from Wageningen University and Research, The Netherlands. He has studied and worked in the departments of food physics, physical chemistry and food processing. He is working on a business idea in the supply chain for food ingredients, plant proteins, and cold infrastructure and has worked with multinational institutions dealing in plant proteins and programmed digitalized manufacturing and supply chains.