Non-GMO Solutions Meet Consumer Demand.

The national debate over food ingredients that are bioengineered, or made with GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms), is just beginning. While some question the safety of GMO foods, others support the potential for bioengineering to improve crop yields and provide other valuable nutritional benefits.

One thing is clear, however. Manufacturers concerned with addressing the preferences of their customers are taking action, by taking GMO’s off some of their labels. According to a recent article in bakingbusiness.com, a “Pew Research Center survey released Jan. 29 found 57% of U.S. adults said they believe genetically modified foods are unsafe to eat. Also, labels from the Non-GMO Project appear on more than 27,000 products, further proof that certain consumers seek to avoid bioengineered/G.M.O. products.”

Non-GMO for the Baking Industry.

For baking professionals, including tortilla makers, GMOs come into play in the corn starch in baking powders as well as in acidulants and the fats, or lipids, used in encapsulation. Clabber Girl offers several non-GMO products designed to help baked goods manufacturers meet the non-GMO preferences of health-conscious customers, including:

– Fleishmann’s Baking Powder with Non-GMO Corn Starch

– Rumford Double Acting Baking Powder

– Encapsulated Malic Acid

– Non-GMO, Trans-Fat Free Lipid Encapsulation

Clabber Girl is committed to providing targeted solutions for the tortilla industry. For more information about our non-GMO products for baking professionals, or for R&D assistance in customizing your tortilla formulations, contact:

Pat Jobe – email: pjobe@clabbergirl.com

Nita Livvix– email: nlivvix@clabbergirl.com

 

Healthier Tortillas Target Healthier Lifestyles.

Are healthier tortillas the new norm? Are low-cal tortillas the next big thing? Maybe. After all, everywhere we look, we see evidence of people choosing healthier lifestyles. There are more walkers, joggers and bicyclists.  Memberships in fitness clubs continue to climb. And consumers are making healthier food choices as well, both at home and on-the-go.

To illustrate the trend toward healthier food choices we can look to the restaurant industry. Lighter fare options are standard practice today whether you are eating at a chain, your favorite local diner – or even at a fast food restaurant! A study of restaurant menu items conducted by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that the calorie content for new menu items dropped 12% in 2013 as compared to new items introduced in 2012. The study examined more than 19,000 menu items at 66 of 100 largest U.S. largest restaurant chains.

The tortilla industry is working to provide healthier options to consumers as well. While corn tortillas are naturally lower in calories, some food production companies are also offering “light” and “100 calorie” flour tortillas that are positioned as an easy choice for calorie-counters to make. Manufacturers are also touting low-carb, high fiber options that are as low as 50 calories each, trans-fat free options, and “all-natural” options.

Clabber Girl offers additional solutions to target health-minded consumers. For example, our Reduced Sodium and Sodium Free Baking Powders are a simple way to achieve sodium reduction by as much as 50% while maintaining taste and texture. Our line of encapsulated acidulants in a variety of label-friendly, non-GMO options are ideal for improving tortilla shelf life, texture and quality. We also offer aluminum-free and non-GMO baking powder blends for the commercial industry.

Clabber Girl is committed to providing targeted solutions for the tortilla industry. For information about our InnovaPhase products for baking professionals, or for R&D assistance in customizing your tortilla formulations, contact:

Pat Jobe – email: pjobe@clabbergirl.com

Nita Livvix– email: nlivvix@clabbergirl.com

Football Parties Inspire Searches for Tortilla Appetizers.

More and more, consumers are discovering that tortillas are amongst the most versatile pantry products they can have on hand – especially when it comes to creating last minute party appetizers. In fact Google Trends shows that worldwide searches for the term tortilla pinwheels began to rise during the last week of January 2014, reaching a peak at the start of February 2015, which just happened to mark Super Bowl Sunday! The “make and take” advantages of tortilla appetizers include:

– Ability to travel and hold up well over the life of a party.

– Lower calorie count than their bready equivalents.

– Versatility as a carrier for virtually any combination of ingredients.

Below are two great examples of tortilla appetizers you might just want to share with your end customers prior to big event or party weekends like sports playoffs, holiday weekends, or middle of the week events like Cinco de Mayo…when cooks might be crunched for time!

 

California Style Tuna Salad Rolls

A blend of two cultures, this appetizer brings the convenience of tortillas and the complex flavor combinations of sushi together. A healthy bonus is that tortilla rolls are a great carbohydrate alternative to the rice traditionally used in sushi.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can albacore tuna, in water, drained
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon wasabi paste
  • 2 10-inch flour tortillas
  • 2 medium leaves Boston lettuce
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and coarsely shredded lengthwise
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and coarsely shredded
  • 1/2 of a ripe avocado; peeled, pitted, and sliced 1/2-inch thick

Instructions:

  • Combine tuna, 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise, and wasabi paste in a small bowl and mix.  Set aside.
  • Lay the tortillas on a work surface and spread 1/2 tablespoon of mayonnaise mixture on each tortilla.
  • Place one lettuce leaf on each tortilla, flat.
  • Arrange the cucumber, carrot, and avocado lengthwise in rows near one edge.
  • Spoon the tuna in a line next to the vegetables (away from the edge).
  • Roll each tortilla up snugly into a cylinder.  Cut crosswise into bite size pieces or “pinwheels.”

 

Apple Cheddar and Bacon Quesadillas

Another crowd pleaser, this appetizer uses simple ingredients that work perfectly together. The best part? They only take about 15 minutes to create start to finish.

Ingredients:

  • 2 flour tortillas
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • ½ thinly sliced green apple
  • 2 bacon strips cooked, drained and chopped

Instructions:

  • Cook bacon in large sauté pan over medium heat. Drain and chop into 1 inch pieces.
  • Lay tortilla in a second pan. Add cheddar, apple slices, and bacon. Top with additional tortilla.
  • Heat for 3-4 minutes on each side, flipping once until golden brown color is reached on each side.
  • Allow to cool for a couple minutes. Slice into quarters.

(NOTE: Simply multiply recipe ingredients above for large groups.)

 

Clabber Girl is committed to providing great ideas for the tortilla industry. For information about our InnovaPhase products for baking professionals, or for R&D assistance in customizing your tortilla formulations, contact:

Pat Jobe – email: pjobe@clabbergirl.com

Nita Livvix– email: nlivvix@clabbergirl.com

Wheat-Free Tortillas Need Structure for Softness.

Whole grain. Multi-grain. Gluten-free. Alternatives to the traditional wheat flour tortilla are popping up everywhere in response to strong consumer demand for healthy dietary options.  If you’re thinking about expanding your product line with wheat-free tortillas to meet this growing trend, you’re already aware of some of the challenges involved, including:

– Ensuring a soft, pliable texture.

– Eliminating spots or translucency.

– Maximizing shelf life.

Fortunately, the R&D experts at Clabber Girl have developed a simple, one-to-one baking powder replacement solution to help you adapt your tortilla recipe to the challenges of non-wheat flours. Our QuickRise with InnovaBake product contains a specially formulated blend of ingredients that provides greater control during the leavening stage to ensure better results.

 

How QuickRise Works.

QuickRise features our proprietary InnovaBake encapsulated baking soda, which provides a controlled reaction with the acidulant (fumaric acid) in your mix. This enhances the effectiveness of the preservative in regulating pH for improved shelf life. The controlled release of ingredients also contributes to a stronger tortilla structure (critical in flours lacking the structure-building properties of wheat), leading to improved texture and appearance.

 

QuickRise:

– Eliminates challenge of complicated ingredient mixing/formulating.

– Helps reduce translucency (spotty appearance).

– Improves tortilla elasticity/texture.

– Maximizes shelf life.

– Improves product quality and consistency.

– Reduces ingredient requirements for greater profitability.

 

For more information about how we can work with you to develop your wheat-free, gluten-free tortilla alternatives, contact: Pat Jobe – email: pjobe@clabbergirl.com

 

 

 

Adding Flavor to Tortillas May Add Challenges.

In the tortilla manufacturing world, experimentation with different flours and flavors is expanding almost as fast as the popularity of tortillas themselves. In addition to traditional corn and flour tortillas, which have become a staple in American households, top tortilla manufacturers are already offering whole grain, gluten-free, high-fiber and organic versions of tortillas or “wraps.”

Flavored tortillas are also beginning to make their presence known, primarily as specialty items. Extra virgin olive oil, green chile, sun-dried tomato, and spinach are just a few of the unique flavors we’ve come across recently in working with artisan tortilla makers.

Maintaining Texture and Quality.

As with any type of bakery product, developing the perfect blend of ingredients for tortilla recipes is both an art and a science. Manufacturers understand that pH regulation is a key factor when working with different flours and flavor enhancements in the tortilla-making process. Adding flavor may contribute to higher or lower levels of acidity in the mix that must be balanced to get just the right texture, quality and preservation levels desired. That’s where Clabber Girl’s R&D experts can help. Our team is experienced at working with customers to develop customized blends for their one-of-a-kind product development challenges.

Contact us soon to find out how the experts at Clabber Girl can partner with you to refine your production process and develop tortillas your customers can’t resist!

Nita Livvix – email: nlivvix@clabbergirl.com

White, Fluffy Tortillas with Longer Shelf Life.

It’s not often that solving a production challenge can actually save you money, rather than costing you more. Interested? Then read on, because this is one of those rare solutions!

With Clabber Girl’s InnovaFresh Encapsulated Fumaric Acid, you can actually maximize the shelf life of your tortillas while saving on the cost of your preservative.

Clabber Girl’s balanced encapsulated fumaric acid’s performance is formulated for white, fluffy tortillas and proper shelf stability. Our product is developed to cover all areas of the tortilla process: mixing, pressing, and baking, to lower product pH, enhancing the effectiveness of preservatives like calcium propionate, and improving shelf life.

In short, using InnovaFresh as your tortilla acidulant inhibits mold growth while reducing ingredient requirements (such as preservatives) for greater profitability. For more information on how InnovaFresh Encapsulated Fumaric Acid can help improve your shelf life and your bottom line, contact:

Pat Jobe – email: pjobe@clabbergirl.com

Frozen Dough and Batter: Ready When You Are.

From upscale restaurants to cozy coffee shops to neighborhood pizzerias, there’s always been a strong customer demand for fresh baked goods…and that demand is only growing. But as we all know, making dough and batter from scratch every day is time-consuming and impractical for many commercial food establishments. Refrigerating or freezing your product is a convenient solution, offering flexibility and time-savings. But what about quality? In our Expert Insights blog, Achieving Consistent Leavening in Frozen Products, we provided some solutions for helping to ensure the quality of your frozen baked goods. One of those solutions is our own Frozen Leavening System.

Clabber Girl’s Frozen Leavening System is a complete, balanced baking powder which combines three different leavening acids along with sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) in two forms. These specialized ingredients react with each other at different points in the production process to provide the ideal amount of lift for your frozen baked good products, while maintaining the flavor profile and texture you’ve worked hard to develop.

Leavening That Works at Every Phase.

Here’s how our Frozen Leavening System works at each phase of the baking process:

Phase 1) Mixing

The fast-acting leavening acid Monocalcium Phosphate (MCP) reacts with free sodium bicarbonate in the bowl at this stage of the process to provide the Carbon Dioxide (CO2) bubbles needed for effective leavening.

Phase 2) Freezing

Our encapsulated sodium bicarbonate (InnovaBake) helps ensure the stability of your dough and batter upon freezing. That’s because the encapsulation (a lipid coating) protects the active ingredient from exposure to:

  • Moisture in the frozen mix.
  • Acidic ingredients such as cranberries and nuts.

Moisture and acidic “add-ins” can both cause a premature reaction and loss of leavening effectiveness with standard baking powders. With InnovaBake, the leavener is protected by a lipid coating that controls and inhibits the chemical reaction until the coating is melted away by the heat of the oven.

This enables you to keep your product frozen for an extended period of time, so it’s ready when you are. You can bake items right from the frozen state, or let them thaw for a faster bake!

Phase 3) Heating/Baking

Clabber Girl’s Frozen Leavening System provides a two-stage leavening effect in the oven. First, MCP and Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate (SAPP) react with our encapsulated sodium bicarbonate once the heat melts the protective coating off of the soda. Then, the slower acting leavening acid Dicalcium Phosphate reacts with the remaining sodium bicarbonate to produce a late “extra kick” reaction near the end of the bake, providing the height, or crown, so desirable in muffins, cakes, cupcakes and other baked goods.

Consistent Results from the Leavening Experts.

Our system is specially formulated to provide:

  • Reliable leavening of frozen batter and dough, even when frozen for weeks or months.
  • Increased shelf life.
  • Greater control over product quality and consistency.
  • Reduced ingredient requirements for greater profitability.

If you’d like to learn more about our Frozen Leavening System, contact:

Nita Livvix – email: nlivvix@clabbergirl.com

Pat Jobe – email: pjobe@clabbergirl.com

Meet Nita Livvix: Director of Research and Development

No matter what you throw at Nita Livvix, she can handle it. Have a technical question about how leavening works? She’ll have the answer. A thorny product development challenge? She’ll find the perfect solution. A gator looking for a photo op? She’ll jump right in.

What? That’s right, Clabber Girl’s Director of Research & Development isn’t afraid to tackle anything! After all, Nita has been at the forefront of helping Clabber Girl and its customers develop and improve innovative products for the competitive food industry for over 20 years.

A Hoosier native, Nita became interested in chemistry and math early on, and eventually decided to merge her expertise in those areas with a focus on food, earning her BS degree in Food Science and Industry from Kansas State University. Nita’s “sub-specialties” as R&D Director at Clabber Girl include Formulations Creator and Manager, Chemical Leavening Development, QA/QC Method Development and SQF Internal Auditor. Her strength is in bringing a unique blend of science, technology and business expertise to bear on product development challenges, and she says that “taking a product from concept to shelf” as well as “experimenting and testing possible solutions to refine and improve products” are both equally fascinating aspects of her job.

Nita participates in a wide variety of industry groups and associations, from the American Society of Baking to the Institute of Food Technologists, and has earned “Certified Ingredient Service Provider” status from the American Institute of Baking. Nita is also active with the American Association of Cereal Chemists, serving on its Chemical Leavening technical committee, as well as a Shelf Life of Leavening Agents subcommittee.

And that gator? Well, Nita just happens to be a big fan of the show “Swamp People,” and actually spent a recent vacation visiting its filming location in the Atchafalaya swamps of Louisiana and meeting the alligator hunters of the reality series herself. When the opportunity came to pose with one of the intimidating “stars” of the show, Nita just couldn’t resist the challenge!

Top Food Trends at IFT

It’s hard to believe the 2014 IFT (Institute of Food Technologists) Meeting and Food Expo is already in our rear view mirror! But while the convention may be over, we observed several industry trends that show plenty of staying power for the road ahead. Here are just a few of the top food trends that caught our attention as we walked the floor, attended presentations, and visited with fellow exhibitors:

Non-Hydrogenated Fats

While restaurants and manufacturers have been working for some time to reduce trans- fats in their food products, the FDA’s preliminary determination last November that partially hydrogenated oils would no longer receive “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) status, has accelerated development of alternatives. The industry’s latest efforts to become more “heart-healthy” were on prominent display at IFT…good news for consumers.

All Natural

It’s a popular claim, but it looks like manufacturers are taking different approaches on their packaging. Because the FDA hasn’t officially defined the term “natural” in foods, there is some customer confusion over exactly what it means. Stay tuned!

Non-GMO Products

Interestingly, the push for more non-GMO products is intersecting with the “all natural” debate due to legal and regulatory battles regarding use of the term. Can genetically modified products be termed “natural?” Do they add value to foods? Are they safe? Consumer demand is causing many manufacturers to develop non-GMO alternatives, many of which were on display at IFT. However, we suspect the debate is far from over.

Clean Labels

Funny thing. Although manufacturers may be using the term “natural” less often, they are actually creating more natural product offerings for their customers. Fewer ingredients, more easily recognizable ingredients, avoidance of “artificial” additives, less “processing” — all of these are ways that product formulations, and labels, are changing to meet consumer demand for healthier foods.

Reduced Sodium Products

Efforts to reduce sodium in prepared foods isn’t exactly new news…but it’s still important news. Reducing sodium while maintaining flavor is a definite challenge, but it’s one the industry is continuing to tackle. We’re also keeping an eye on news about potassium, particularly now that the new Nutrition Facts Panel guidelines will call out more nutrients such as potassium. (The sodium to potassium ratio is a key factor in heart health.)

For insight on other food trends generating discussion at IFT, click here.

Clabber Girl continues to anticipate the latest food trends with products like our Fleischmann’s non-GMO baking powder, InnovaFree Sodium Reduced and Sodium Free baking powders, and InnovaPhase Trans-Fat Free and Non-Hydrogenated Fat encapsulation solutions. For more information on how the Clabber Girl R&D team is helping our customers meet changing consumer preferences reflected in the trends, contact:

Nita Livvix – email: nlivvix@clabbergirl.com
Pat Jobe – email: pjobe@clabbergirl.com

Doughnut Trends Reflect Craving for Indulgence

As we prepare for our much anticipated trek to the IFT (Institute of Food Technologists) Annual Meeting and Food Expo, we’ve received lots of advice about where and what to eat in the foodie paradise of New Orleans. Naturally, being Clabber Girl, we’ll be doing some important “research” at the famous Café du Monde, sampling their delicious beignet doughnuts, drenched in powdered sugar and served with a steaming cup of café au lait. Ah, the indulgence.

Doughnut Innovations.

Which brings us to today’s topic…the trend toward indulgent luxuries that seems to contradict the overall movement in the food service industry toward health and wellness. One theory about the apparent contradictory trends holds that people are okay with giving in to the indulgence of small luxuries at high value.

There is perhaps no segment of the food industry more ready to capitalize on this trend than the baked goods segment. From cupcakes and cake pops to gourmet doughnuts, new ways to serve up traditional favorites along with innovative new products seem to be exploding. For an interesting look back, check out some of the great doughnut innovations in history.

Here’s the lowdown on a few of the market’s newest doughnut creations:

Craft Doughnuts: Gourmet, made-from-scratch doughnuts featuring new shapes, bigger sizes and more exotic toppings and fillings like cereal, candy, bacon and yes…even beer.

Cronut/Dosant/Crodough: The Cronut, created by French chef Dominique Ansel at his bakery in New York, has sparked an international craze. The confection consists of flaky croissant dough, deep-fried, and layered with a variety of rich, fresh fillings. The Do’sant and Crodough are variations on the idea.

Doughnut Sandwiches: Essentially, using a split doughnut as the “bun” with a burger and toppings in between, or as a breakfast sandwich with fillings like eggs, sausage and bacon.

Biscuit Doughnuts: Made from biscuit dough, fried in hot oil, and topped your way. Simple, but different!

Doughnut French Toast: Traditional French toast recipes, made with doughnuts instead of bread.

If you’re interested in exploring innovative new items for your baked goods line, contact the R&D team at Clabber Girl for advice and information. In the meantime, maybe you’ll see us in the French Quarter debating the merits of yeast vs. baking powder as a leavening agent in the official state doughnut of Louisiana!

Nita Livvix – email: nlivvix@clabbergirl.com

Pat Jobe – email: pjobe@clabbergirl.com