According to Pauline Arramy, marketing executive at LCI, ingredient transparency and natural products are becoming increasingly important in the bread-making industry.
As such, LCI has developed a range that focuses on functional flours and enzymes to provide ‘true’ clean label solutions.
She told BakeryandSnacks that today’s consumer is placing more importance on ‘natural’ and ‘authenticity’ to fully understand what they are eating.
“This typically defines the ‘clean label’ trend,” she said.
Confusion, however, is rife, as the meaning of clean label differs from country to country.
“In the UK and Germany, for instance, customers are interested in claims like ‘no additives’ and ‘no artificial ingredients’; whereas in the US and France, consumers like to go through the full list of ingredients and focus on its length before buying food,” said Arramy.
“For more than 30 years, LCI has focused on using only ingredients that reassure consumers,” she explained, noting that LCI’s Touch range is aimed at responding to these customer needs, while managing formulation costs.
“Furthermore, positioning a product as artisanal with importance placed on the origin of each ingredient is a way to differentiate oneself on the market. Consumers want to know where their food comes from – they want to hear the story – and are willing to pay more for a higher-quality bakery product,” she said.
- Glusafe replaces up to 50% of added gluten in bread, such as sandwich bread, traditional and artisanal bread. When using this ingredient, no modification of the process or hydration is required and dough has a greater elasticity and enhanced texture.
- Glusafe Sweet has been developed for viennoiserie and pastries.
- Hydra 0.2% increases dough hydration levels and reduces bread recipe costs. “This ingredient enables more water to be mixed into a recipe in the kneading process without altering the stickiness of the dough,” explained Arramy. “This increases the softness and sponginess of bread and retains all of the characteristics until the end of its shelf life.”
- Stop Salt reduces the amount of salt by up to 25%. The dough retains its hydration and elasticity without becoming sticky and can be used for traditional, artisanal and sandwich breads, as well as viennoiserie.
- Cakesoft allows the baker to control the soft texture of pastries with a long shelf life. No additional water is required.
- Soft Egg reduces the amount of eggs by up to 20% in bakery products without adding allergens. The ingredient also increases shelf life and results in a product with finer breadcrumbs.
The shape of bread
Health concerns continue to shape attitudes towards bread, said Arramy.
According to 2015 Mintel data, consumers contend that bread in the UK is too high in calories, sugar and carbohydrates.
This has resulted in the ‘free from’ movement pushing the use of added protein, fibers and seeds, ancient grains and superfood ingredients.
“It’s essential for ingredient producers to respond to the consumer desire for more natural products and to reduce the amount of allergens, as well as make products more nutritional,” said Arramy.
“Among the 14 major allergens, the most important to understand is gluten.”
LCI has developed a range of guaranteed gluten-free ingredients made from corn, rice or dried vegetables.
The company also tailors ingredients to reduce fat (for example, westhove wheat 1000R), reduce salt (StopSalt) and replace sugar with “aromatic” ingredients.
“LCI also offers ingredients that improve the nutritional profile of food by using, for instance, wheat germ or corn; whole wheat flours from different grains; dry vegetable flours that are naturally rich in proteins and fibre; flours enriched with omega-3s; and insoluble fibres derived from wheat, corn, oats or buckwheat,” she explained.
The real benefit of the LCI Touch range is it can all be simply labelled as ‘wheat flour’ on the packaging, which, in the case of bread, is fully transparent (as it already contains wheat flour), said Arramy.
She explained that, after France, LCI’s second largest market is the UK.
“The British market is very demanding in terms of ingredients and especially the clean label trend,” she said.
While the company is still awaiting the effects that Brexit will have on the bakery industry, it has taken steps to lessen any critical blows.
“We have an office in Milton Keynes in the UK, which allows us to be very close to the British market and to monitor it,” she said.