Naturally gluten-free: Veripan launches “breakthrough” all-in-one bakery solution

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20 Nov 2018 --- The need for gluten-free foods is driving innovation across many food sectors, with bakery being the most prevalent sector. Veripan has launched a “breakthrough” all-purpose flour mix for gluten-free bakery. According to Veripan, bakers can use the Panafree all-in-one solution to create gluten-free bakery products, while avoiding the often seen dry and crumbly textures, poor mouthfeel or off-flavors. The company also maintains that this new solution is completely natural. 

The demand for gluten-free products more than doubled over the past five years, which is mainly due to more health awareness, diagnosis of celiac disease and other food allergies. Veripan believes the trend will grow further in the coming years, because “food-blogger and influencers strongly promote gluten-free diets.”

Bakery is the leading market category for products with free-from claims, with dairy, sauces and seasonings in second and third place, respectively. Recent data from Innova Market Insights revealed that one in 10 bakery products has a free-from claim, largely because gluten-free is the top free-from claim in food and beverage launches.

There is a rise in food allergy sufferers in the UK and around one percent of Britons suffer from celiac disease, with around 12 percent of adults choosing to follow a gluten-free diet. This demand is prevalent globally, and to feed this demand, food manufacturers and retailers are under pressure to bring high quality, differentiated products to the market.

Veripan researchers have created a natural way to make gluten-free bread with better technological and sensorial quality, reports the company. Gluten-free dough is easy-to-handle and doesn’t resemble a cake batter, meaning that it can be shaped and freely-baked, says the company.

“Our innovative Panafree solution is a perfect option for consumers with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Moreover, health-conscious consumers will be happy because of the better nutritional properties it boasts,” says Veripan CEO, Meiert J. Grootes. 

Speaking to FoodIngredientsFirst, Grootes says: “Gut health is becoming a major topic and a growing number of consumers are convinced that gluten causes serious health issues like inflammation and damage in the intestinal tract in our body.”

Grootes also notes that he expects a lot more innovation to come from this space, because of the ongoing discussion about the gut-brain axis and the impact of gluten on brain disorders. 

“Influencers on social media are leveraging the discussions, which lead to gluten avoidance of normal consumers. A lot more innovation is necessary because a lot of gluten-free products are made with additives, which were banned decades ago and came back through first generation gluten-free products.”

“The demand for gluten-free products in Asia and China, specifically, is just at the beginning and will explode the coming years,” he adds. 

Panafree makes gluten-free bakery products with a desirable appearance, texture, flavor and mouthfeel properties. As a result, the company reports the final quality is similar to standard bakery products containing gluten, but without the use of any additives.

“The biggest challenge is to make a real dough and not a cake batter in a natural way,” Grootes says.

According to Veripan, it is now possible to make a wide range of yeast-raised gluten-free bakery goods such as bread, rolls, bagels, tortillas, pizza, cinnamon rolls, cookies, fried batters and muffins. Panafree is easy-to-use in automatic bakery equipment, traditional craft and home baking, says the company. 

The Veripan “breakthrough” allows the combination of various known gluten-free ingredients to form an elastic dough without the presence of any gluten. Panafree is a mixture of water, baker’s yeast and tailored gluten-free flours and starches. The dough has a gluten-like structure which makes it possible to entrap the carbon dioxide from yeast fermentation in the dough matrix. Consequently, the resulting gluten-free products are visually appealing and are “delicious and nutritious,’ targeted not only for celiacs but also for consumers who are health-conscious, reports the company. 

Panafree is now commercially available in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South Asia, Australia and New Zealand. 

“We are delighted to serve the global bakery industry with this spectacular innovation,” Grootes notes.

“Panafree flour mix is an ideal supplement to our current portfolio of clean-label and healthy natural fibers. Above all this new offering is a great option for consumers to eat gluten-free baked products, without compromising on the culinary experience,” comments Guido Schaer, Director for Business Development of Unipektin Ingredients.

Looking ahead to the future, Grootes notes that the industry can expect further breakthrough innovations based on “proprietary fermentation technology.”

“The main focus is on the development of healthy ingredients for the production of good tasting foods, such as low glycemic bread and low glycemic noodles for obese and diabetic people,” he continues. “Our major field of research is the development of fermented ingredients like our Panatura sourdough.”

By Elizabeth Green

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