Baking & Snack - August 2018 - 87

TECHNICALLY SPEAKING
Len Heflich
heflichfoodsafety@gmail.com

Bakers need to be ready for the impending...

C
CRISIS

T

There is a gluten crisis hanging over the baking industry
as several factors converge in a slow and insidious manner, making it difficult to clearly identify.
Wheat quality is one factor. The protein quality and
quantity in wheat has been dropping for the past 40
years. Average hard red winter wheat patent flour from
Nebraska 40 years ago had 12% protein, 60% absorption, 0.45% ash and a farinographic mixing stability of
25 minutes. Today, we are lucky to get 10.5% protein,
58% absorption, 0.6% ash and a farinographic mixing
stability of 8 minutes. The change has happened so slowly that many bakers haven't noticed. But those numbers
should be a call to arms.
Bakers have adjusted by reducing the absorption of
their doughs and adding increasing amounts of gluten,
emulsifiers and enzymes to maintain finished product
quality. This came at a cost. Bakers didn't use enzymes
40 years ago, and the level of gluten and emulsifiers back
then was significantly lower. The pressure for clean labels is now driving bakers to remove emulsifiers, which
will put more emphasis on wheat quality and drive up
gluten usage even further.
The industry has also allowed the ash content of patent flour to creep up over the years. Ash is the combination of bran and aleurone layers from the wheat kernel
ground up finely. These fine particles of bran and aleurone absorb water in the dough; it looks like absorption,
but since ash produces no strength in the dough, the
absorption is false. It takes energy to grind the wheat
fine enough to allow the inclusion of bran and aleurone

particles, which increases damage to the starch granules
in the flour. Damaged starch granules absorb water in
the dough, while undamaged granules absorb almost no
water. What's left looks like absorption, but it produces
no dough strength.
The result is that we are using more gluten today, and
even using it in products where it wasn't needed before.
For example, almost all of today's white breads contain
gluten. Vital wheat gluten is a byproduct of the manufacture of wheat starch, tying the availability of gluten to that
demand. In the US, vital wheat gluten is mostly imported
from areas with an abundance of wheat or that which is
not useful for baking bread. Adding gluten is costly, but it
is also risky. Some of us remember the vital wheat gluten
shortage that occurred in the late 1980s, when bakers had
to scramble to find new sources of gluten.
Ultimately, the issue comes down to the farmer and
the baker. Farmers currently are motivated by yield because they generally do not get paid for producing higher quality wheat. The result is that they grow wheat on
marginal land or as a rotation crop. They do not apply
fertilizer or other inputs that could improve crop quality.
We need a mechanism to drive the production of higher quality wheat. Andrew Hoelscher, founder of Farm
Strategy and president of Farm Strategy Consultants, is
developing a program that provides incentives to farmers based on the quality of the wheat they deliver. This
type of program could be the game changer. The industry needs a vision to inspire a wheat crop that farmers
want to grow. And avert a crisis.

*

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Baking & Snack - August 2018

http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2019_05_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2019_04_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2019_03_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2019_02_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2018_12_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2018_11_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2018_10_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2018_09_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2018_08_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2018_07_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2018_06_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2018_05_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2018_04_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2018_03_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2018_02_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2017_12_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2017_11_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2017_10_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2017_09_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2017_08_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2017_07_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2017_06_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2017_05_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2017_04_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2017_03_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2017_02_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2016_12_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2016_11_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2016_10_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2016_09_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2016_08_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2016_07_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2016_06_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2016_05_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2016_04_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2016_03_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2016_02_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2015_12_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2015_11_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2015_10_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2015_09_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2015_08_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2015_07_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2015_06_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2015_05_02
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2015_04_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2015_03_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2015_02_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2014_12_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2014_11_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2014_10_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2014_09_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2014_08_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2014_07_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2014_06_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2014_05_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2014_04_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2014_03_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2014_02_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2013_12_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2013_11_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2013_10_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2013_09_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2013_08_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2013_07_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2013_06_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2013_05_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2013_04_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2013_03_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2013_02_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2012_12_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2012_11_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2012_10_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2012_09_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2012_08_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2012_07_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2012_06_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2012_05_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2012_04_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2012_03_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2012_02_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2011_12_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2011_11_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2011_10_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2011_09_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2011_08_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2011_07_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2011_06_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2011_05_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2011_04_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2011_03_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2011_02_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2010_12_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2010_11_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2010_10_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2010_09_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2010_08_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2010_07_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2010_06_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2010_05_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2010_04_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2010_03_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2010_02_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2009_12_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2009_11_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2009_10_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2009_09_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2009_08_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2009_07_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2009_06_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2009_05_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2009_04_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2009_03_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2009_02_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2008_12_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2008_11_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2008_10_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2008_09_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2008_08_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2008_07_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2008_06_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2008_05_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2008_04_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2008_03_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2008_02_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2007_12_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2007_11_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2007_10_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2007_09_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2007_08_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2007_07_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2007_06_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2007_05_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2007_04_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2007_02_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2006_12_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2006_11_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2006_10_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2006_09_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2006_08_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2006_07_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2006_06_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2006_05_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2006_04_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2006_03_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2006_02_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2005_12_01
http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2005_11_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2005_10_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2005_09_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2005_08_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2005_07_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2005_06_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2005_05_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2005_04_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2005_03_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2005_02_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2004_12_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2004_11_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2004_10_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2004_09_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2004_08_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2004_07_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2004_06_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2004_05_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2004_04_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2004_03_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2004_02_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2003_12_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2003_11_01
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