When it comes to carbohydrates, it’s the quality—not quantity—that matters most. With consumers taking a more holistic approach to their healthy dining habits, carbs are experiencing a resurgence in popularity. Consumers around the world have given carbs a second chance as comfort food came back into favour during the height of the pandemic.
In foodservice, experimentation has given rise to artisan breads and pastas made in-house. A plant-based café in Spain serves twists on traditional recipes, such as a buckwheat risotto with pumpkin cream and roasted eggplant, and raw veggie noodles topped with tomato-cashew cream sauce and spiced almonds.
Sustainability and health come into play for the carb-focused snack category, with popcorn-like water lily seed snacks and air-popped quinoa chips delivering satisfying yet light flavour. “Activated” crisps in the UK are made with sprouted sorghum that has been soaked to allow for better nutrient digestion—a more functional approach to a classic snack.
The carb resurgence aligns with the protein category, too, as items like filled pastas and batters put a more wholesome spin on product development. From high-protein, high-fiber Saudi Arabian chickpea flour to a Canadian company producing tempura batter with konjac root powder, tapioca starch and psyllium husk—alternative flours put a more wholesome spin on traditional coatings.
Looking to fuel innovation across menus and product categories? Consider clean label, unrefined and “whole food” carbs.
3 Insights s to Discover
European consumers are actively seeking out food and drink products that contain ingredients that are high in fibre, such as ancient grains. Showing a significant increase over the last few years.
4 in 5
European consumers are actively checking carbohydrate levels in snacking products.
1 in 5
European consumers are looking for solutions to remove gluten from their diet.
Thinking Beyond Classic Carbs. Get inspired by these on-trend concepts to create innovative offerings using products from Griffith Foods.
Ellie Coughlan, Griffith Foods Culinary Lead Wincanton
Ellie studied professional cookery in the UK which brought her to work in various restaurants including a 5* Japanese hotel in the French Alps. She switched from foodservice into a development role for the food industry 7 years ago, allowing her to be more creative and she hasn’t looked back since. Passionate about food, is currently pursuing a Food Science degree.
Plant-based Vietnamese Style Charcoal Noodle Salad with Tamari and Birds Eye Chilli Dressing
An interesting alternative to the traditional rice noodles, these charcoal noodles which use activated charcoal powder add a bite to the vibrant salad, along with the contrast in colour! The dressing is packed with tamari, Bird’s Eye Chilli, lime juice and garlic. The salad can be topped with crispy fried onions or made into a main meal with crispy tofu bites.
Sourdough ‘Waste’ Crackers
Leftover stale sourdough bread is dipped in a truffle infused olive oil and seasoned with rosemary seasoning. This is a quick and easy way to use up the ends of the sourdough that have gone stale; simply slice as thinly as possible and gently roll out as thinly as possible.
Mediterranean Chicken Breast with Yellow Pea Pasta and a ‘Nduja & Cherry Tomato Sauce
Pan fried chicken breast seasoned with a Italian Herb marinade, and served with yellow pea pasta in a rich ‘nduja and cherry tomato sauce. Finished with lashings of Parmigiano-Reggiano, lemon zest and fresh basil for the ultimate Italian experience.
Yellow pea pasta is a great alternative to wheat pasta, as it boasts more nutrition and is ideal for coeliacs.
Chasin’ Dreams Farm (US) created a nourishing gluten free ancient grain snack, made with regeneratively farmed sorghum that is air-popped and lightly coated with tapioca syrup and seasonings for a light and satisfying crunchy texture.
Misura Whole Wheat Crackers with Beetroot and Black carrot (Italy) The richness of the cereal fibers added to those of beetroot and black carrot! And the color? It is given NATURALLY from the ingredients used!
Findus (Spain) extended his range with Breaded Alaska Pollock Fillets with Four Seeds and Quinoa. Alaskan pollock fillets in a crunchy breading with quinoa and seeds, pre-fried and quick-frozen, and features a Nutri-Score of “A”.
Foodservice Burger inspiration
Humble (UK) offers delicious homemade gluten free cauliflower base pizzas. They are made with turmeric, cauliflower, hemp seeds, and gluten free flour.
Barrique Venice, an Inspired Italian Cuisine restaurant in Venice, CA features a tagliolini pasta infused with red beet on the menu, to bring a wholesome, plant-forward, and colorful spin to traditional semolina pasta.
Shiso Burger aims to combine the benefits of conventional burgers with those of traditional Asian cuisine, known for its healthy ingredients. The burgers come on a white rice-wheat buns. The veggie burger contains marinated tofu, eggplant, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onions, mayo and ketchup.
Coatings, when considered as a source of carbs, influence the 4 key product attributes of texture, surface appearance, flavour and colour, positively impacting the indulgence whilst maintaining product convenience. However, the days coatings provided only indulgence and convenience are over!
Recently Griffith Foods have been adding the fifth attribute of nutritional quality. Since the coating can contribute to 30% of the final product then coating systems are the perfect candidate to influence and improve the nutritional quality. Our coating systems are developed to enhance processors ability to increase the overall nutrient density of their coated product range”
–Bartel Pyckhout, Manager Coatings & Functional Ingredients, Griffith Foods Europe & Africa
Nutritional Spotlight: Carbohydrates
Along with fats and proteins, carbohydrates are one of three macronutrients found in our diets. They represent a significant proportion of the foods we consume and serve as a primary source of energy. But unlike their fellow macronutrients, carbohydrates are made of glucose—the preferred energy source for the brain and muscles. While carbohydrates are found in many forms and foods, the key is to focus on whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes that offer a variety of carbohydrate structures along with other beneficial nutrients. With these foods as the primary sources of carbohydrates, we receive not just energy but nutrient-dense options that support gut health, heart health, immune function and more. Upcycled, imperfect and sustainably produced carbohydrate sources are becoming increasingly available within the category as well, helping bring awareness not just to personal health but to the health of our planet.
–Jackie Schulz, MS, RDN, Director of Global Nutrition, Griffith Foods
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Source: Mintel, 2022 FlavorIQ® Global Trends and Insights Report, January 2022.