Alternative flours have emerged in response to the shortcomings of standard cereal flours. They provide new textures, flavors, fragrances, better nutritional values, with more protein, minerals, vitamins and gluten-free content.
The alternative flour industry itself is only in its infancy, but these flours use cleaner technologies with innovative grinding and sieving solutions.
Alternative flours are made from seeds, legumes, fruits and vegetables.
The pods of the mesquite tree (Prosopis glandulosa), produce a mellower flour of reddish colour which is full of fibre, protein, essential amino acids lysine, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc. The mesquite tree flour has a malt profile, tastes of hazelnut and cocoa, maple and molasses.
It contains a lot of protein, potassium, magnesium, calcium and vitamin B6, and is naturally gluten free and high in fibre.
At the same time the chickpea flour is used to increase the protein content in crackers and baked snacks, and it has almost twice the fat content of wheat flour, 25% more protein and is gluten free.
The flour of roasted pumpkin seeds and other seeds gives a very interesting taste.
Flours made from used grain cereals in the brewing industry, which are previously dried and ground, are as equally used. This flour gives a nutty taste to the products and a soft middle.
Used grains are a source of concentrated carbohydrates, proteins and water.
Barley flour (which is the residue of beer production) contains about 25% protein and 40% dietary fibre. Its taste and colour vary depending on the type of beer.
Furthermore, degreased sunflower seeds, a by-product of sunflower oil extraction, can be processed into high quality protein flour. This turns into an anti-allergenic and gluten free flour, with 35% protein, 18% fibre, slightly nutty flavour and is also naturally G.M.O.
Flour can also be produced from soybean pulp, leftover from production of soy milk. It has a high-protein, gluten-free, milky taste or nutty taste flour, that has the ability to extend the shelf life of baked goods because it retains moisture by binding water and oil.
That is also the coffee flour which is made from dehydrated coffee pods. It is also gluten and allergen free, has a citrus flavour with a chocolate note.
It’s a fine powder, beige in colour, neutral in taste, obtained by drying and milling green peeled bananas. It is rich in potassium, magnesium and prebiotic fibres and is known as resistant starch, which thickens and stabilizes, beverages, sauces, salad dressings and fruit products.
Every day, new alternative solutions for flour production from different sources such as cauliflower, broccoli, and pumpkins are tested. This industry is under development and is sure to bring many more innovative solutions.