Puffed vs. Crisp
Posted March 13, 2019 by Jahn Parise
When you hear the word crisp, you probably immediately think of the crispy rice-based cereal from your childhood that snaps, pops and crackles, and makes excellent marshmallow treats. But do you know how it is made? Crisps are made from a homogenous batter of flour, and other propriety ingredients, that is formed or extruded, and dried and toasted to give it that crunchy texture. When you hear puffed, do you think of puffed rice cakes?
For centuries, puffed grains have been made by using the simplest methods. Think popcorn! Modern puffed grains use different technologies, including heat and pressure, to expand the starches in the endosperm and create an airy, starchy texture; thus, puffed ancient grains and puffed cereal grains are made from the originating grain.
Puffed grains offer attractive marketing advantages and pose a multitude of benefits to a formula. Clean label, single ingredient and increased nutrition are benefits as well. Puffed grains add a slightly nutty to toasted flavor, add texture and mouthfeel, visual appeal, and accept added flavors and colors well.
There is no limit in how to incorporate puffed grains in a formulation. Many offer the textural advantages found in a crisp, with the added nutrition of the whole grain. The different options of grains allow for a variety of textures, shapes and flavors: from oblong to triangular to a perfect round sphere, crunchy to spongy, to lightly sweet and soft.
While crisps can often be found in chocolates, puffed grains also work well in confections and coatings, adding a distinctive texture. Opportunities abound in the areas of raw or cooked bars, snacks, hot and cold cereals, cookies and crackers, granolas and salad toppers.
If you have questions about how to utilize puffed grains, or any other specialty ingredient, I can be reached at Jahn_Parise@AndersonsInc.com or call 773-766-6280.