Food allergies?

Vegan baking could “take the cake”

Food allergies continue to rise, especially among children. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, roughly 6% of people in the United States have food allergies. Milk registers as the most common allergen for children, followed by eggs and peanuts. That makes most baked goods a no-go for people with allergies.

Vegan baking options just might be an unlikely hero for satisfying your kid’s (or your own) sweet tooth, as clean-label ingredients are an important aspect in vegan baking — and in avoiding allergens.

Common Challenges to Vegan Baking

While vegan baking might take the cake in helping to avoid problematic food ingredients, typical ingredient substitutions can’t always replicate the kind of bakery items that non-vegan eaters expect.

Someone who is used to eating vegan has adjusted their palate over time to match their food preferences. But people with allergies generally only avoid their problematic ingredients, leaving them with an otherwise normal range of consumer flavor preferences that simply contain a few “holes” or “gaps” to work around.

This creates an opportunity for food developers and manufacturers.

Some of the most common food allergens — milk, eggs, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts and soybeans — not only affect the taste of bakery items, but also things like texture, density and mouthfeel. When using vegan ingredient swaps, it can be particularly challenging to create a light and fluffy texture, keep baked goods from becoming too dry, prevent sinking and avoid “off” flavors.

Sensient Flavors & Extracts can help food developers and manufacturers overcome some of the most common challenges when creating ready-to-bake vegan formulations or finished packaged delicacies that will appeal to all types of consumers, using:

  • Mouthfeel enhancers to help recreate typical textures
  • Flavor boosters, which can intensify the sweetness of existing ingredients
  • Flavor maskers to cover any bitter off notes of replacement ingredients
  • Flavors or extracts that can provide the essence of a “missing” ingredient

It’s about more than making simple food swaps. The key is to get the base of your batter to provide the right overall experience before moving on to add specific flavor aspects.

Delicious Results

In the end, people turn to vegan baking techniques to meet their dietary restrictions or to satisfy their philosophical approach to eating. Customers’ myriad reasons for choosing vegan mean the market for vegan baking items might be bigger than you think, with opportunities to serve a wider segment of consumers.

If you would like more information about how to formulate your bakery products to meet the growing demand from allergy sufferers, contact us to start a conversation. Together, we can create delicious results!