Arla Foods Ingredients says it has developed a protein that will solve the texture problems associated with gluten-free baking. 

Arla claims the natural milk protein-based solution could make complaints about dry, crumbly gluten-free products “a thing of the past”. Nutrilac simulates the protein structure and functionality of wheat gluten, meaning recipes made with it should exhibit the soft crumb of yeast-raised dough.

Arla said using Nutrilac is easy and does not require new machinery or changes in manufacturing procedures.

John Kjaer, global sales manager for bakery at Arla Foods Ingredients, said: “Gluten-free is huge right now, but such strong sales growth won’t be sustainable if products don’t taste nice, because eventually consumers will drift away. The winners in this category will be bakery companies that can make gluten-free bread and cakes that are virtually indistinguishable from their conventional equivalents.

“Many people will tell you this is impossible – but it’s not. With Nutrilac proteins for gluten-free products, perfect gluten-free bread and cakes are a reality. The show’s finally over for poor quality gluten-free products.”

The market for gluten-free products is still growing strongly with sales in both Europe and US increasing by 20% in 2014, reaching values of €1.5bn (£1.10bn) and $20bn (£13.10bn) respectively, according to New Nutrition Business.