Gluten-free Product Development
J. Engleson and B. Atwell. Cargill, Inc., Plymouth, MN. Cereal Foods World 53(4):180-184.
Imagine not being able to enjoy freshly baked bread, not being able to have a steaming hot muffin with your coffee in the morning, or not being able to serve a cake to your child at his or her birthday party. This situation is the reality for the 1% of the global population afflicted with celiac disease. Actually the number of people affected is significantly higher as gluten-free diets are now being prescribed for many other ailments as well. Unfortunately the options for good quality, gluten-free bakery products in the marketplace are very limited and the cost associated with even low quality baked products is excessive. Developing baked products devoid of gluten is difficult and the degree of difficulty is closely associated with how functional gluten is in the particular product system. The quality of the products in the marketplace reflects this relationship. Good quality cookies are available. Batter-based products are good but generally not at parity with their gluten containing counterparts. Breads are significantly inferior to those made from wheat flour. There is, however, a significant effort ongoing in our industry now to develop products in all of these categories that are the equivalent of their gluten-containing complements.