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Emerging trends in bakery industry in India
Thursday, 12 August, 2021, 14 : 00 PM [IST]
Joshna Joseph
Food industry is evolving day by day which includes modification in the traditional recipes to meet the consumer demands, to technological advancement in the machinery, making the production of the developed product easier.

Due to the continuous awareness among the people regarding maintaining a healthy lifestyle, more people are looking forward to healthier bakery items which have no refined flour and less fat.

Since, refined flour is used as a base in almost all the bakery products, as refined flour has a very less nutritional value more and more people have started preferring flours which are whole grain flours having good nutritional value and also gluten free flours.

There are gluten free cakes, biscuits and crackers available in the market, earlier these products did not exist in the market, they were mostly homemade. Eggs have been replaced by egg replacers which provide a similar texture to the cake, biscuits and cookies. Non dairy whipping creams are also available in the market. People nowadays do not mind paying extra money for additive free bakery products.

The recent trends in the bakery industry is developing a bread that does not require yeast as a leavening agent. An alternative to yeast will reduce the sour aftertaste of the bread and reduce the time for proofing. Preparation of various kinds of healthy breads are now trending. Healthy bread preparation includes gluten free bread, protein rich bread, fibre rich bread, sprouted bread, seeds bread. Flours enriched with a particular vitamin or mineral are also being used for baking bread.

All these healthy alternatives have come up due to the changing consumer lifestyle. Many people have turned to a vegan and vegetarian diet which is a plant based diet which means it does not include eggs or any animal product although milk is an animal derived product, use of dairy based product is fit for the consumption of vegetarians but vegans do not eat dairy based products as well as honey for religious or lifestyle improvement purposes which has led to many innovations in the bakery industry such as vegan cakes, cookies and crackers.

Sugar in the bakery industry has been replaced with stevia which is a natural sweetener and has zero calories. Sugar alcohols as well as fructooligosaccharides are also being used as sweeteners which are sugar replacers. Honey, date syrup and jaggery are also used as natural sweeteners. Butter has been replaced by healthier fats and oils which includes nut butters, seed butter, vegan butters, olive oil and coconut oil.

Apart from taste and texture, appearance of the product also matters in attracting the consumers to buy the product. A baked product which is good in appearance may influence the decision of buying the products. Artificial colours are replaced by natural colours such as turmeric, beetroot, Annatto, to make the product healthy and additive free.

Functional foods in the bakery sector are evolving day by day, bakery items such as cookies and biscuits are enriched with protein, fiber and vitamins and minerals. Cakes and biscuits which can boost your immunity have also been developed by incorporating ginger, turmeric and citrus fruits which are considered to boost the immunity.

Use of social media has played an important role in promoting such healthy baked products. Normal crackers which have a lot of sugar and fat and are made up of refined flour have been replaced by millet flours which are cheaper as well as nutritious and these crackers are made up of very less sugar and fat.

Many hybrid baked products are also trending which includes cruffin, which is a mixture of croissant and muffin, croffle- which is a hybrid of croissant and waffle, Macaringue- which is a hybrid of macaroon and meringue. Such exciting innovations have left consumers confused as to which one to taste first.

The major concern in the bakery products are trans fats which are considered to be unhealthy and may increase the risk of cardiovascular ailments, and recently FSSAI has reduced the trans fat limit in bakery products from 5% to 3% which has become a challenge for the bakery industry to reduce the trans fat in the bakery items. The bakery industry is using fat alternatives which have low or no trans fats such as unsaturated fats to meet the regulatory requirements.

Frozen bakery products such as pizza, buns, hot dogs, are prepared and frozen so that their shelf life increases and there is minimum wastage of food as sustainability is the need of the hour. Most of the bakery products have a short shelf life, therefore the bakery industry is trying to invent packaging that is sustainable as well as increase the shelf life of the bakery products.

Since the bakery industry is advancing, there are expectations of numerous technological advancement in the bakery sector in the future. Consumer needs give rise to new innovations in the bakery products. Due to technological advancement people can customise and buy baked products online which has made the consumer’s life easier. People are becoming more aware about the ingredients used in their products due to strict food labeling laws. This has given an impetus to the consumers moving towards a more healthier lifestyle.

 (The author is research and development manager at Soch Foods LLP)

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