Ultra-fine wheat bran plugs health and can improve texture and structure, says Limagrain
Westhove ultra-fine wheat bran is a natural, clean label ingredient with a 12 month shelf-life that can be used in baked goods, snacks, breakfast cereals, beverages, dairy products and meats.
Made from raw materials low in mycotoxins and pesticides, it is produced using physical treatments, not chemical.
Dr Walter Lopez, nutritionist at LCI, said the benefits of the ingredient are substantial.
“This is a versatile and natural ingredient with a wide range of products where its functionality will bring benefits,” Lopez said.
“It is neutral in colour, taste and texture for maximum incorporation of fibres in formulations. Bitterness is decreased by the hydrothermal treatment and there is a low impact in texture thanks to the ultra-fine particles,” he said.
“The ingredient is stable and consistent in use, with enzymes completely inactivated, microbiological charge drastically reduced, and rancidity processes stopped,” he added.
Broad applications and functional benefits
The nutritionist said that in beverages and dairy products, the ingredient could be incorporated as a source of invisible wheat bran fibres when a smooth texture is desired.
It can be used as a source of natural wheat fibres in baked products, biscuits and crackers when a low visual impact is desired, he said.
When used in extruded snacks and breakfast cereals, it reduces breakage and improves the structure by creating fine pores and acting as a nucleating agent, Lopez said.
In meat products, it gives improved yields by binding water and fat in wet products, he said, and it can improve the texture of meat-like products and reduce breakage in dry or fragile products.
In nutritional terms, he said the ingredient can allow manufacturers to make health claims on end products. In May, the European Commission passed a health claim for wheat bran – ‘wheat bran fibre contributes to an acceleration of intestinal transit’.