March 28th 2022
Lantmännen introduces gluten-free wheat starch to counter effects of celiac disease.
In response to the growing number of gluten-intolerance diagnoses, Lantmännen Biorefineries has launched its gluten-free wheat starch from autumn wheat harvested in Sweden. The market for gluten-free products is also growing due to more consumers adopting a gluten-free diet for lifestyle and health reasons.
“After several years of development, we can now offer the market a gluten-free ingredient with good baking properties that do not affect the final product’s taste. In addition, it is the first Swedish alternative in this fast-growing market,” according to Lars Franzén, head of food ingredients, Lantmännen Biorefineries.
Wheat starch has many functional properties in baked goods compared to other starches. It stabilizes bread crumb structure and texture, creating a loaf of bread with an even crumb. When baking gluten-free, the stabilizing and binding function of gluten must be reached via the addition of other ingredients, for example, hydrocolloids and fibers.
Gluten-free wheat starch is a fine white powder with a neutral taste. When cooled down, it forms consistent and firm gels and contains less than 0.35% protein. It is also non-soluble in cold water and hot swelling. Lantmännen Biorefineries has launched a gluten-free wheat starch for bakery goods.
According to European directives, the product has been approved as gluten-free and will be launched initially in the Nordics and in northern Europe, where demand is very high.
The diagnosis of celiac disease (gluten intolerance) has increased significantly, affecting approximately 2% of the regional population. Gluten-free wheat starch allows bakers to create various products in the same formulations they are used to, without gluten.
Lantmännen Unibake acquired the production assets from French Bakery Company AS, a Norwegian bakery located close to Drammen, in 2020. The acquisition was a critical step in providing sustainable products and bakery solutions in Norway and meeting consumer demand for locally produced bakery products. The acquisition included the take-over of French Bakery Company’s production equipment.