Demand for healthier snacks has brought a golden new era for the nutrition bar. Consumed as a quick bite between meals or an easy meal on the go, bars rich in protein and dietary fiber have definitively moved out of the sports niche and into the mainstream.
For industrial bakers, that’s quite an opportunity. As our application trials at Nutrition & Biosciences have shown, nothing could be simpler than producing a baked nutrition bar on existing bakery equipment.
It could be the extra dimension that raises consumer awareness of your brand – tying in with today’s satiety trend and radiating the indulgence of a traditional bake.
The baked nutrition bar concept we have developed is based on the English flapjack, a tray-baked cereal bar made from oats, butter and syrup. You can see how to make it in the video in this issue of Bakery Performance.
Replacing oats with soy protein
Our aim is to demonstrate how the nutritional profile of a well-known recipe can be improved by replacing some of the standard ingredients. In this case, we have exchanged some of the oats for soy protein nuggets. Comprising soy, barley, rice and oats, the nuggets are fully compatible with the cereal taste and texture of the traditional flapjack. On top of that, they contain 60% vegetable protein – enough to qualify for an EU-approved high protein claim.
The nuggets make raising the protein content easy. But a little more thought has to go into increasing the fiber level without impacting the sensory quality.
Healthy but invisible dietary fiber
Although oats are naturally high in fiber, we wanted to add more. For us, the obvious place to start was polydextrose, a dietary fiber we have used in many of our bakery concepts and which stands out for being undetectable in the final product.
When adding the polydextrose, it is important to ensure the mixture still has the right viscosity and binding properties. To achieve that, we replaced the standard sugar syrup with a mixture of sucrose and fructose. This has the added advantage that fructose supports stable blood sugar levels – another contributor to longer-lasting satiety.
Compared to the traditional English flapjack, the taste and texture of our baked nutrition bar is just as appealing. The noticeable difference is the high fiber and protein claims on the pack.