Bakery fillings shaped to local tastes

Consumer preferences will make or break a new bakery product. We explore which bakery fillings are likely to work best in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and South Africa

By Grethe Kappel, application specialist, Nutrition & Biosciences

There’s no one size fits all when developing food products for different markets. Consumer preferences vary widely, and manufacturers have a range of processing needs that must be satisfied too. So, in a recent Nutrition & Biosciences consumer survey, it came as no surprise that, while consumers from one market gave a test bakery concept the thumbs up, consumers from another were less impressed. 

All the bakery concepts were produced for Egypt, Saudi Arabia and South Africa, where the survey was carried out. For us, the findings gave important clues to what works – or not – on these bakery growth markets.

Adjusting food solutions to local tastes has always been part of our job at Nutrition & Biosciences. Following the survey, we have carried out further development work on the sweet and savory fillings in our bakery concepts, which survey participants widely commented upon.

A high pH goal
Our starting point was to put together a solution that works in a high pH filling, such as caramel, peanut or almond.  We wanted to ensure the fillings were easy to pump on the processing line and had the right texture whether they were added to the bakery product before or after baking. We also aimed for a rich and creamy mouthfeel and no tendency to water separation.

It was with these specifications in mind that we tested an alginate-based stabilizer in a caramel filling for a chocolate caramel muffin concept, a peanut filling for a brownie-style chewy chocolate cake, and almond and spiced chickpea/carrot fillings for soft croissants. 

Flexible performance
This stabilizer solution proved particularly flexible and cost-effective. By varying the balance between alginate and calcium, we found that the fillings could be made for addition to the batter or dough prior to baking or for injection afterwards. Either way, it was possible to create an indulgent texture and mouthfeel.

As you can see from the picture below, the caramel filling with 3.5% of the alginate-based stabilizer is significantly more bake-stable than a similar filling with 5% modified starch.


Savory preferences
Our savory croissant filling, however, has required a different approach. During the survey, it became clear that consumers prefer a traditional flavor combination. For this reason, our follow-up work has focused on a cheese and vegetable filling concept.

Here, the calcium in the cheese rules out the possibility of using the same alginate-based stabilizer as in the sweet fillings because the texture becomes grainy. To ensure a smooth, non-gelled texture, we have stabilized our initial savory concept with carrageenan.

This creates a filling that must be injected into the croissant after baking, as it is not bake-stable. 

Tweaked concepts
We have made a number of tweaks to improve the fillings in line with the survey feedback. This means we now have a series of inspirational bakery concepts ready to present to customers in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and South Africa.

You’re welcome to get in touch for more information.

We tested GRINDSTED® Filling 528 Stabilizer System and GRINDSTED® Carrageenan CY 500, both from the DuPont™ Danisco® range.

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