Bread Innovation is on the Rise
Bread is one of the world's oldest staples. While today, wheat is the most popular ingredient of choice to make bread, innovative ingredients are offering up new choices for people who are looking for a healthier loaf.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada scientists from the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, Morden Research and Development Centre (MRDC) are investigating innovative screening tools that will help plant breeders select new wheat varieties with improved health benefits while maintaining the traditional quality Canadian wheat products for which the country is currently renowned.
Scientists are also exploring how different ingredients can maximize the nutrition of our daily bread. One example is the addition of Canadian oats that can actually help manage blood sugar and lower cholesterol. On the more innovative side, the protein power of peas can be used to create bread that packs over 20% protein content. In addition, MRDC scientists are using in vitro methods and a model stomach to predict the health benefits of including pulse flour in baked goods such as bagels and steam buns.
While wheat research continues to help the industry make top quality and nutritious bread, the demand for more gluten-free options has introduced an exciting era of exploration, looking for new ingredients in place of wheat. Scientists at the Guelph Research and Development Centre are studying Canadian pulse flour (made with pea, chickpea, and red split lentil flour) and potatoes to replace wheat in bread, muffins, cookies, and pasta. Gluten-free goods are a hot commodity throughout Canada, with sales on the rise year over year.
No matter how you slice it, there's a bread out there that's right for you.
- In 2016, Canadian wheat exports (durum and non-durum wheat combined) totaled almost $6 billion.
- Canadian sales of gluten-free products have grown 60% from 2011 to 2016, and are expected to continue growing over the next few years.
- Canada produces many specialty crops such as oats, barley, flax, peas and lentils that can be incorporated as healthy ingredients in bread and baked products.
- Date modified: