Gluten-free shows staying power in grocery bakery

Sep 27, 2021, 13:35 PM by Jennifer Barnett Fox
Dawn Foods Gluten Free

KANSAS CITY — The ever-widening better-for-you category continues to attract consumers looking to make healthier lifestyle choices through free-from foods.

Ten years ago, the mention of gluten-free products within the bakery space was likely to elicit a dismissive shake of the head or roll of the eye. Many believed the sans-gluten concept to be nothing more than a fad, a trend destined to be quickly forgotten as consumers moved on to the next “big” thing. This was supported by the fact only a small percentage of consumers were celiac, making the need for gluten-free products minor at best and nothing more than a niche in the category.

To be fair, gluten-free formulation at that time, particularly on a large scale, was not for the faint of heart. Those undeterred by the prospect of gluten-free baking found the modification of wheat flour-based products likely to produce a low-volume, batter-like consistency without gluten’s natural ability to provide structure, gas retention and dough elasticity.

One of the main challenges is that there is no traditional dough in the preparation stage, explained Sarah Hite, food scientist at Dawn Foods, Jackson, Mich. This created formulations that could be hit or miss in terms of texture and flavor.

Read the full article here.