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Will New Gluten-free Cassava Flour Rock Your Baking World?

A new production process for gluten-free cassava flour may mean superior products. Photo: CC-MShades 11/01/2010 - American Key Food Products (AKFP) has announced a patent application for the production process for a gluten-free cassava flour. The company also announced that it has begun initial production of this new gluten-free flour at its manufacturing facility in Brazil.

Gluten is the protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. Gluten provides the structural elasticity in kneaded dough products, permits leavening, and supports the crumb structure and chewy texture of traditional baked goods.

In the last few years, a number of manufacturers have produced gluten-free flour and starch products for gluten-free baking. However, creating baked goods without gluten is challenging, and the resulting baked goods can often be dry, crumbly, or gummy products.

Cassava, or tapioca flour, has been one of the more promising ingredients for gluten-free baking. However, most traditional cassava flours have a coarse texture, similar to corn meal.

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According to AKFP technical sales director Carter Foss,  the company has spent more than a year developing the flour to have baking characteristics that closely mimic wheat flour in structure, texture and taste.

The result of the AKFP process, which uses the complete root, is a fine, soft flour that contains both protein and fiber. The patent application covers various aspects of the manufacturing process, including particular milling and drying procedures, as well as the resulting flour itself.

“During the processing of it, we have to get the physical characteristics made correctly or the flour fails. It over-bakes and turns to dust,” Foss said.

Foss says that AKFP cassava flour can replace combinations of flours, starches and hydrocolloids in gluten-free baked goods, allowing for a simpler ingredient statement.

After the pilot runs are completed at its new Brazilian facility, AKFP intends to have continuous production on line by the beginning of 2011.

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9 Responses:

Diane Lilly
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said this on
08 Nov 2010 2:46:42 PM PST
Thank you for the article on the new flour. I can't wait to try baking with it. It is fun to try new products and hopefully I will get great bakery items at home.

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said this on
09 Nov 2010 6:01:14 AM PST
I was diagnosed with celiac in 1961. Back then there wasn't very much in the gluten free world. I'm so excited about the new advances they are making. It is becoming much easier to stay gluten free. I just know someone will come up with a flour that behaves every bit as good as glutenous flours, hopefully this will be it.

irene spezialetti
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said this on
10 Nov 2010 6:31:56 PM PST
Well written..clean, to the point .

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said this on
12 Nov 2010 10:44:49 AM PST
Yes, but doesn't cassava mess with your thyroid if you consume too much? I read it in a book on the thyroid gland. You have to be careful - too much of anything isn't good. Let food be your medicine...

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said this on
12 Mar 2011 10:31:56 AM PST
Cassava in large quantities can effect thyroid function of severely iodine-deficient populations. Cassava is often consumed as the main calorie source by populations suffering from malnutrition. A few cakes eaten in our abundant food nation shouldn't harm most people.

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said this on
23 Jun 2011 4:43:05 PM PST
This is exciting news. I can't wait to bake with it.

JJ Blanton
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said this on
30 Dec 2013 10:49:00 PM PST
Here it is almost 2014 and I have just found this informative article. Recently, I found XO Baking Co.'s cookie mix and enjoyed delicious just-baked cookies for the first time in going on two decades. Cassava is here and it is terrific! My diet is extremely limited, so I'll be looking for the flour itself to make something besides treats, but thank goodness for progress!

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said this on
25 Jan 2014 12:58:04 PM PST
I have also just discovered the XO Baking Company far I've tried sugar cookies, brownies, chocolate chip cookies, banana bread, pumpkin bread, and there are other mixes as well that I haven't yet tried. The ingredients in all of them seem to be a base of cassava and coconut flour. Everything I've tried has been phenomenal and tastes exactly like the "real" gluten product equivalent, and no one who didn't know these are from gluten free mixes would ever suspect these products are not made with wheat. The bread textures are fluffy and perfect. The usual GF mixes (rice flours and tons of starches) really upset my digestive system, and I've never been sure if it was the vast combination of components, or the rice flour, or what it was. So far, I have done well with all of the cassava flour mixes, no upsets whatsoever. This company also makes a cassava flour mix which I haven't yet found. However, I suspect it will be more cost effective than mixes because you do have to add a lot of your own ingredients to the mixes (which are expensive), so I suspect you could make your own recipes from scratch and just add the cassava flour and it would possibly be more cost effective. In any case, cassava flour (or the cassava-coconut flour combo) is absolutely amazing for celiacs, and I haven't had anything this delicious for decades.

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said this on
17 Jan 2015 4:08:49 PM PST
And what about the cyanide potential from Cassava? What is the residual amount left from processing? Independent lab results? Please be sure to include the cons of things when you write about the pros, otherwise it just looks like an advertisement. Thank you!

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