Pre-gelatinized flours boost bakeries’ clean label credentials

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

The water-binding properties of pre-gelatinized flours, which have undergone hydrothermal processing, eliminates the need for additives. Pic: Kröner-Stärke
The water-binding properties of pre-gelatinized flours, which have undergone hydrothermal processing, eliminates the need for additives. Pic: Kröner-Stärke

Related tags Wheat

Kröner-Stärke (KS) has developed a range of pre-gelatinized flours and starches for the baked goods market that it claims will give professional bread manufacturers the edge on their competition.

According to the ingredients supplier, the range is aligned to increased consumer demand for natural ingredients, and not only enhances the softness of bread, but also extends shelf-life without effecting taste or texture.

“The range has been developed to respond to market led demand for clean-label, organic and gluten-free products for bakery; a trend that’s grown significantly during these past two years,”​ Henrik de Vries, commercial director of KS, told BakeryAndSnacks.

“Manufacturers are particularly interested in the ability of pre-gelatinized flours to keep bread fresher for longer, ​he added, especially the instore supermarket bakeries and artisan bakers for whom an additional day’s shelf-life could bring a significant return on investment.

Rising to new levels

Pre-gelatinized flours are produced from natural cereal grains, such as wheat, rye, spelt, oats, corn or rice, subjected to hydrothermal processing during drying and milling.

This triggers the binding and swelling process in the starch grains at an early stage so the flour – when used in the production line –  simply requires the addition of cold fluids to produce a thickening effect.

These water-binding properties means bread will keep fresher for longer.

The flours can also be used as a replacement for traditional emulsifiers and thickeners – such as methylcellulose or guar gum that must be declared as an additive on a product’s label – which allows the baker to clean up their ingredient labeling.

Pre-gelatinized flours and starches only need to be labeled as flour or starch.

The flours are popularly among KS’s clients who produce branded packaged rye bread.

 “A strong feature of the bread is that it is still consumable at the end of its shelf life and not too dry or hard at this point,”​ explained De Vries.


Pre-gelatinized flours can be used for bread, choux paste, yeast-raised doughs and fillings. KS also supplies baking mixes and improves, particularly for German branded readymade and ready packaged cakes like tortes and pound cake.

KS also supplies specialist cold-water swelling flours in gluten-free form, produced from a base of rice, corn or legumes.

“We supply a range of declaration-friendly flours and starches, enabling food manufacturers across Europe to maximise profit opportunities and market growth,”​ added KS’s product application technician, Martin Apfeld.

The German company, founded in 1900 and still run by the Kröner family, mainly targets manufacturers and producers in Europe, especially in Germany, but also has a solid footprint in Asia.

While De Vries admitted that KS’s presence in the UK and the US is still small, it is working with several specialist partners to grow these markets.

He added that the company does not see trade barriers being a problem after Brexit.

“KS is competitive with its mixing and extruding capabilities. The only concern that may affect us is the exchange rate fluctuations of sterling vs the euro,”​ he told us.

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1 comment

GCC Market

Posted by Rajeev,

It is true that pre-gelatinized flour have potential to be clean label ingredients and to be used in bakery mixes and products. Other than pre-gelatinization of flours, heat treated very fine wheat flours are the best alternative to chlorinated flour, which is normally used for cake and pastry application. GCC market is now geared up with local manufacturer and supplier of such functional flours. Local availability and consumer awareness can boost the usage of clean label flours in the region.

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