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Tuck into the potential of healthy wrap snacks

We explore convenient vegetable fillings that stay put while you’re on the go.

Get into the car and drive to the local service station, and you’ll probably find a good selection of fast, convenient snacks. What is equally probable is that very few of them will offer much in the way of nutrition.

With healthy snacking one of the top ten trends listed by New Nutrition Business in its 2013 Food Nutrition & Health report, that points to a market opportunity just waiting to be tapped.

In our application labs here at DuPont, we decided to investigate possibilities for filled tortilla wraps to bring some healthy options to the on-the-go segment.

Overcoming the water hurdle
One limitation is immediately obvious: water content. To stop the filling leeching out into the wrap and making a soggy mess, both the filling and tortilla must have the same water activity. In other words, the filling must contain very little water. Most industrial bakery fillings overcome this by having a high sugar content – not exactly compatible with good nutrition!

For this reason, we turned our attention to developing a filled tortilla concept either for a very short shelf life – maximum two days – in the refrigerator or for storage in the freezer.

One of your five a day
Having eliminated the water issue, we put together a savoury filling based on a medley of vegetables – a single portion providing one of the five or six daily servings of fruit and vegetables that many health authorities recommend.

Prebiotic polydextrose was added to enable an on-pack high-fibre claim. An ‘invisible’ fibre, polydextrose has no impact on taste or texture.

Hot and stable
That achieved our nutritional goals. But, to make a truly delicious snack, we knew our filled wrap needed to be enjoyed hot. This called for a way to keep the filling in place during heating and maintain a pleasant, non-sticky mouthfeel.

Through our work with stabilisers, we have gained a broad overview of how they interact in combination, contributing stability and texture. Using this knowledge, we were able to draw on an existing stabiliser system in our portfolio to give the vegetable filling the right functionality for on-the-go snacking.

The system secures the necessary heat stability to ensure the filling does not ‘cook’ in the microwave and provides limited viscosity so the filling is easy to pump and apply to the wrap on processing lines. Just as important, there is no messy leakage during consumption.

Our inspirational concept is designed to take a place alongside the other bake-off products stocked by service stations, kiosks and other fast-food outlets. A convenient, tasty flatbread that helps fill the healthy snack gap

The concept makes use of Litesse® Two polydextrose and GRINDSTED® FB 840 Stabiliser System.