BakingTECH 2023 wrap-up
The American Society of Baking’s annual event BakingTECH 2023 was held in Chicago from February 28 to March 2, 2023. The theme was resilience – sustaining traditions and forging the future. As a columnist for Bakers Journal and a guest writer for Food in Canada, this event provided an excellent opportunity to gather insights and confirm trends. Additionally, it gave me a well-organized platform to network with colleagues (old and new).
Speaking of resilience, traveling this time of year around the Great Lakes can be tricky. Luckily, I arrive home safe and sound before the storm with thundersnow. Twenty-three cm of snow, in less than eight hours, in the GTA. Back to the blog, I am excited to share the three ingredients that grabbed my attention at BakingTECH 2023. Let’s explore them in my BakingTECH 2023 wrap-up.
Avena Foods™ – Avena’s Best Functional Pulse Flours
I’ve been a fan of Avena Foods™ for over a decade. Avena Foods™ has been a client of mine and I continue to support their work. I met up with Barbara Lee-Budin who introduced me to a new Avena colleague Heather Chavez. Most importantly, it was terrific to catch up with them and learn how their ingredients are making a difference in the baking industry.
Barbara Lee-Budin, director of sales and business development, Avena Foods™ says, “We are excited to launch Avena’s Best Functional Pulse Flours – ready-to-eat (RTE), cost-effective, clean-and-clear-label ingredients that provide binding, viscosity, emulsification, gelation and structure. The functional pulse flours offer commercial bakeries a viable replacement for eggs, at a lower cost and with a stable supply. Specialty milled from beans or lentils; Avena’s egg replacement ingredients can be added directly to dry ingredients. Bakeries are using Avena Best Functional Pulse Flours to replace eggs and dried eggs in gluten-free and vegan bread and other baked goods.”
Combining functional pulse flours with other cereal flours (such as oat) can optimize protein content as well as protein quality in breads and baked goods. Also, pulses are a sustainable crop which is very appealing to today’s consumer.
The Protein Brewery – Fermotein®
This company is new to me. With its head office in the Netherlands, The Protein Brewery is a company developing and making animal-free proteins in a sustainable way. At BakingTECH 2023, they were featuring Fermotein®. While Fermotein® is an alternative fermented food ingredient, it has an excellent nutritional and sustainable profile. A new, exciting ingredient that is gluten-free, allergy-free and GMO-free, it will be commercialized in Q3 of 2023.
Deb Anderson, director new business development, North America, The Protein Brewery describes, “Fermotein® is made up of 45 per cent complete protein, 37 per cent dietary fibres, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Its neutral/bland flavour and ease of use lends itself to increasing the nutritional quality of bakery products without adversely affecting taste or texture. Its target applications, in the current format, is better-for-you bakery, bars, snacks and tortilla.”
When Deb found out I have been in the industry for over two decades and was a super taster, she gave me the Fermotein® vegan lemon poppy seed cookie to sample. It was delicious! There were no off flavours or lingering after-taste. Plus, the texture was very appealing. No gritty or chalky mouthfeel. After years of sampling vegan/plant-based cookies, I predict the new ingredient Fermotein® will be a game-changer for the baking industry.
Puratos – Softgrain Ancient Grain
Similar to Avena Foods™, I am a fan of Puratos. I’m familiar with Puratos’ Softgrain range of ingredients. At BakingTECH 2023, they were showcasing the art and science of baking with an alligator bread display. That caught my attention! At the booth, I had the opportunity to meet Joe Layton, vice president of R&D, USA. Joe identified they were featuring Softgrain Ancient Grain with a blend of millet, spelt, buckwheat, teff, rye, amaranth, chia seeds and red quinoa.
Ancient grains are trending, and this multigrain and seeds solution featured at BakingTECH 2023 brings flavour and texture to breads. It allows for innovation and differentiation. Puratos’ Softgrain ingredients are ready-to-use whole grains and seeds that have been cooked and infused with sourdough. The slow release of moisture from the soaked grains and seeds ensures natural prolonged freshness to breads. Plus, the sourdough and blends of grains and seeds adds an intense, rich flavour. As a supporter of seeds (and grains), we can’t forget about the nutrition Softgrain ingredients provide – fiber, vitamins and minerals.
Final thoughts – BakingTECH 2023 wrap-up
Since we are back to in-person event, I’m very particular on how many and which events I attend. As a result, it’s important to focus on activities that have both an immediate and long-term impact on your business and services. Specifically, the B2B writing service of my business is growing. Similarly, I’ve been niching in the baking industry for over a decade. Therefore, BakingTECH 2023 was an ideal event to support these pieces of my business, plus it was a good opportunity to catch-up with colleagues old and new!
Contact Jane and her team to partner with you on your next project or
to speak at your upcoming events!
Conference Entrance supplied by American Society of Baking. All other photos are credited to Jane.