What is Wheat Protein?
Wheat Protein is the natural protein derived from wheat or wheat flour. In its freshly extracted wet form it is known as vital wheat gluten which, when carefully dried, yields a cream-to-tan-colored, free-flowing powder of high protein content and bland taste. When re-hydrated, it regains its original characteristics.
After washing out wheat protein from the wheat flour the remaining starch is used by manufacturers for a variety of end products. Wheat starch can be dried (modified or native), processed into sweeteners, fermented into (bio-)ethanol or other fermentation products. As part of a multi purpose manufacturing process wheat protein is therefore one of the most sustainable vegetable proteins on the market.
Wheat protein provides exceptional functionality for many industries by imparting a variety of benefits. It can be used in its native form but for various application the industry developed a selection of fit for purpose modifications.
It can be used in a wide variety of applications including flour milling, bakery products, pasta, meat replacer, breakfast cereal, petfood, aquafeed, milk repacer and more.
Composition and Properties
Wheat Protein, a natural food protein, is the water-insoluble complex protein fraction separated from wheat flours. The separation process is accomplished by physical means from aqueous flour suspensions without additives of any kind. Wheat protein is typically marketed as a cream-colored, free-flowing powder. When rehydrated, it regains virtually all of its intrinsic functionality.
Vital Wheat Gluten is approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) under 21 C.F.R. §184.1322 for use as a dough strengthener, formulation aid, nutrient supplement, processing aid, stabilizer and thickener, surface finishing agent and texturizing agent at levels not to exceed current good manufacturing practice.
Vital wheat gluten also complies fully with the requirements for purity and identity stipulated by the joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives.
Wheat Protein Products are covered by a Codex standard and vital wheat gluten is approved for use by most countries throughout the world. However, it is recommended that the user contact the local food additive regulatory authorities to determine compliance with all local food legislation.
Codex International Standard
Moisture : 10.0% maximum
Ether extractable fat (d.b.) : 2.0% maximum
Ash (d.b.) : 2.0% maximum
Fibre (d.b.) : 1.5% maximum