Q&A with Jeff Zeak

Q&A with Jeff Zeak, Bakery Specialist at Reiser.


Is there a “typical” formulation for gluten-free items?

JZ: No, there isn’t a typical formulation. Gluten-free formulations will range in consistency from the viscosity of a thin batter to stiff dough. Additionally, formulations will vary by the type and amount of added ingredients:

  • Starch/flour source choice based on potato, rice, corn, amaranth, teff, millet
  • Legume/bean flours
  • Hydrocolloid gums and gum alternatives
  • Vegetable type source – dried powders vs. fresh
  • Type and level of egg used – fresh, frozen, powdered
  • Dairy proteins and combinations – protein isolates, concentrate, whey, casein
  • Differences in ingredients from supplier to supplier
  • Variations in other ingredients used in the formulation

When should bakers consider scaling up production?

JZ: I recommend bakers consider scaling up when the demand for finished product exceeds supply and the baker is looking for improved throughput.

  • When product produced is difficult to process
  • When looking for improved time efficiency
  • When labor cost is high
  • When skilled labor is in short supply
  • When the cost of ingredients is high
  • When you need to reduce production/product loss
  • When automation of your production process makes things more efficient and cost-effective.

Are there certain steps bakers should take to produce high-quality gluten-free products?

JZ: I recommend bakers consider scaling up when the demand for finished product exceeds supply and the baker is looking for improved throughput.

  • Start with the use of quality ingredients, having a formulation with the proper type and level of ingredients and have a good understanding of ingredient function.
  • Cultivate an understanding of the type and intensity of the processing equipment
  • Create consistency of process:
    • Attention to time and temperature of the facility environment, ingredients and water used
    • Order of ingredients introduced during mixing
    • Do things the same way each time

What systems for gluten-free does Reiser offer?

JZ: Reiser offers a wide range of equipment solutions for processing gluten-free bakery products including dividing, batter and dough handling, depositing and packaging for extended shelf life of products.

Are there any myths around gluten-free that you can dispel for bakers who are on the fence about adding the production of gluten-free items?

JZ: Myth – Gluten-free is a fad. False, it is not a fad. Gluten-free is a product category that satisfies a medical condition that impacts 1% of the population. For others, gluten-free foods satisfy a lifestyle choice of healthy, feel-good eating. Gluten-free is here to stay and consumers desire great gluten-free choices that fulfill their lifestyle needs.
Myth – Gluten-free is difficult. Gluten-free can be difficult, but Reiser and Vemag make it easy. Reiser is your gluten-free partner.