What is Wheat Gluten ?
It is also known as Vital Wheat Gluten, a natural food protein, is the water-insoluble complex protein fraction separated from wheat flours. Wheat Gluten is used in the bread industry to supplement the gluten proteins already naturally present in flour and subsequent dough.
Wheat Gluten properties:
- Increased dough strength
- Better gas retention and elasticity, which gives products good structure and uniform shape to bread
- Better water absorption and retention, improving yield, product softness and extending shelf life of bread
- Enhanced flavor
The addition of gluten to the dough provides the elasticity needed so that the buns retain a uniform shape when filled.
Gluten can also be a useful ingredient in products other than bakery products, as the following examples highlight:
- Batter: Ensuring a durable adhesion of batter crusts to foods is a quality problem, especially in frozen foods. Using a dusting of gluten powder before applying the batter vastly improves the adhesion in both hot and cold temperatures and the results are comparable to (more expensive) egg. The gluten also assists with food moisture as the product is better sealed and the surface crust that results is crispier and more appealing.
- Pasta: Pasta manufacturers prefer to use semolina made from Durum wheat as it produces better quality pasta. However the addition of gluten to semolina made from other wheat varieties can improve their suitability for pasta doughs.