SWEDEN – Swedish agricultural cooperative Lantmännen has introduced a new gluten-free wheat starch with good baking properties that do not affect the final product’s taste. 

The company noted that the launch of the new starch was in response to the growing number of gluten-intolerance diagnoses.  

The diagnosis of celiac disease (gluten intolerance) has increased significantly, affecting approximately 2% of the regional population. 

Globally, Allied Market Research estimates that more than 80% of the gluten-intolerant population is not aware that they are suffering from celiac disease 

The launch was also informed by the growing market for gluten-free products as more consumers adopt a gluten-free diet for lifestyle and health reasons. 

According to Allied Market Research, the gluten-free products market size was valued at US$4.3 billion in 2019 and is estimated to reach US$7.5 billion by 2027, registering a CAGR of 7.2% from 2020 to 2027.   

“After several years of development, we can now offer the market a gluten-free ingredient with good baking properties that do not affect the final product’s taste,” says Lars Franzén, head of food ingredients, Lantmännen Biorefineries. 

Wheat starch has many functional properties in baked goods, chief among them, being its role in stabilizing bread crumb structure and texture.  

When baking gluten-free, the stabilizing and binding function of gluten must be reached via the addition of other ingredients, for example, hydrocolloids and fibers. 

Gluten-free wheat starch is a fine white powder with a neutral taste that enables manufacturers to achieve the same quality as they were using conventional wheat but with a shorter ingredient list.

According to European directives, the product has been approved as gluten-free and will be launched initially in the Nordics and in northern Europe, where demand is very high.  

Earlier, Lantmännen Unibake acquired the production assets from French Bakery Company AS, a Norwegian bakery located close to Drammen.  

The acquisition was a critical step in providing sustainable products and bakery solutions in Norway and meeting consumer demand for locally produced bakery products.  

The acquisition included the take-over of French Bakery Company’s production equipment. 

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