Inclusions—those extra added bits of flavor and texture in nutritional bars and other baked goods—are stirring up consumer interest. Along with their sensory benefits of added flavor, texture and visual appeal, inclusions can offer up added nutritional benefits as well.
For instance, you can satisfy the current consumer appetite for additional protein intake by featuring protein inclusions from a variety of sources. Soy, whey, or pea protein crisps inclusions are not only predominantly protein—they boast a great, clean taste. Pea protein crisps are particularly growing in popularity, due to pea protein’s hypoallergenic, gluten-free, soy-free and dairy-free status, and its high perception of wellness. Full of flavor and texture, their own nutritional contributions, and added protein, inclusions can also be fortified with vitamins and minerals.
Inclusions must withstand the rigors of manufacturing, temperature fluctuations during distribution, and shelf life challenges. Considerations must be made for mixing time, moisture content, processing time and temperature, and final moisture content. Nellson’s ingredient expertise allows us to ensure that the inclusion you choose delivers on its initial promise with a desired sensory experience for consumers.
Nuts, peanuts, and other inclusions can also add protein, but must be formulated, balanced, and reviewed carefully to ensure that protein efficiency ratio standards are met. Alternate high protein inclusions include nuts, naturally high in protein, or fruit pieces, infused with protein. When using nut-based inclusions, care must be taken to prevent oxidative rancidity.
Protein inclusions appear to have little downside, but they do present some additional challenges, in terms of price and bar size. Inclusions typically contain a lower percentage of protein and can be more expensive than powders. At Nellson, we offset the cost of unique inclusions with lower cost high protein ingredients and flavors. This allows us to formulate with less expense, while maintaining the product’s visual, textural, and flavor appeal.
Inclusions of all kinds are keeping pace in response to consumer demand, from those that are chockful’o’nuts, to those sprinkled with fruit pieces, to those with the added crunch of pretzels and other baked ingredients. For allergen-free applications, crunchy protein nuggets infused with other flavors can deliver the taste and texture of real nuts without the allergens or high cost often associated with nuts.
Ready to stir up more consumer interest in your bar with protein inclusions? Let’s stir things up, together!