Bleached Flour – A Smooth Alternative for Baking Goodies
The bleached flour market has shown steady growth during the recent years due to the growth of the bakery market, where flour is primarily utilized. The benefits of using bleached flour during the baking process include softer texture, increased volume & lighter loaves, and brighter colors to the baked goods. Although flour gets bleached with time due to oxygen in the air, bleached flours are specially aged, synthetically, using chemicals such as synthetic oxides, peroxides, chlorine, chlorine dioxide, and azodicarbonamide, among others. These chemicals either dampen the flour or fasten the development of gluten in the flour by manipulating the starch content itself, usually by chemically oxidizing it. This process reduces the protein content, in turn, making the flour absorb more fluid and become further palatable for bakery and related industries. The global bleached flour market has billowed with the sharp growth in flour derivatives such as bakery products and functional foods. North America led the charge in the past, while East Asia is showing great promise in the coming period.
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Baking Industry Driving Growth of Bleached Flour Market
The usage of chemicals for the production of bleached flour creates a negative impact on the perception of consumers, thus restraining the growth of the bleached flour market. For example, there has been a restriction for long on the usage of certain chemicals such as chlorine, bromates, and peroxides in the European region, due to the carcinogenic nature of these chemicals. Bleaching also reduces the amount of nutrients such as proteins from the flour, and adds harmful byproducts such as alloxan. These factors definitely impact the market of bleached flour. Manufacturers of bleached flour are looking for bleaching agents that are safe to use, and are investing to develop processes that can eliminate bleaching agents from processed flour. Taking all these factors into consideration, the bleached flour market has shown steady growth in the recent past, due to the strong emergence of it as an alternative to unbleached flour in the bakery industry. The softer, lighter baked product formed by using bleached flour is highly liked by customers, thus making bakers choose bleached flour over the unbleached ones. This factor has kept the market climbing to newer heights. The consumption of bakery products has been on the rise in recent years, which gives a massive boost to the market for bleached flour, as flour is the principal ingredient in it.
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Bleached Flour Developed from Wheat Holds Major Share in the Market
The bleached flour market is segmented by source, grade, bleaching agent, end-use industry, and sales channel. Bleached flour is often derived from cereals such as wheat, oats, bran, rice, barley, and others. Out of these sources, the consumption of bleached flour produced from wheat consists of the major share of the market, more than that from any other source. Other sources, such as various oats and barley, are growing in popularity due to their characteristic nutritional benefits. Bleached flour is segmented into grades according to the bleaching process – naturally bleached or synthetically bleached. Although all flour gets naturally bleached over time, the sale of synthetic bleached flour is more due to a reduction in the turnaround time. Bleached flour is also divided according to the chemicals employed to bleach the flour, such as chlorine, chlorine dioxide, organic peroxides, azodicarbonamides (ADA), and others. Chlorine and peroxides were used on large scale in the past, while newer and safer alternatives such as ADA are now preferred.
The end-use industries employing bleached flour as an ingredient are bakery, HoReCa, dairy, food processing, and others. The sales channels are direct sales, indirect sales, hypermarkets/supermarkets, convenience stores, small groceries, retail stores, online retail, and other modern trade channels. Although a major quantity of bleached flour is traded through direct channels, hypermarkets/supermarkets have become a popular choice for people to buy bleached flour. The global market of bleached flour can be segmented into seven regions: North America, Latin America, Europe, South Asia, East Asia, Oceania, and the Middle East and Africa.
East Asia’s Growing Love for Baked Products to Boost Market Growth
Currently, the North American region is the leader in the consumption of bleached flour, as bread is the staple food of the people across North America. Along with that, high per capita income also boosts the bleached flour market in the region. The knowledge about the effects of chemicals used in bleaching is widespread in European countries, leading to high restrictions in the European market. But with the advent of safer technologies in the process of bleaching flour, the growth of the bleached flour market in this region is projected to gain immense traction over the coming period.
Currently, East Asia is showing maximum growth in the bleached flour market, primarily due to the high population and flourishing of tourism in the region, fueling the bakery industry. Australian and MEA are projected to show steady growth with respect to their recent consumption, and South Asia and Africa will slowly shape the growth of bleached flour market in the latter half of the forecast period.
Niche Market with Large Number of Small-scale Manufacturers
The niche bleached flour market is full of small players right now, manufacturing bleached flour from various sources though some major parties, including Gold Medal Flour, Five Roses, General Mills, The J.M Smucker Company, Grain Craft, Bobs Red Mill, Cleveland Milling Co., Shawnee Best, and Ardent Mills, among others.