Research helps baker bring cookies to market

The sugar-conscious dessert company Bald Baker has seen a rise in sales and interest in its product line this past year, says Dan Sennet, founder and industry partner for Niagara College. Last year, Bald Baker wanted to extend the shelf life, and optimize and scale-up their two cookie products, so they looked to the research team at the Canadian Food & Wine Institute (CFWI) Innovation Centre.

“We’re scaling our production and our distribution and seeing lots of growth and lots of interest from larger, more national retailers,” says Sennet, whose company’s gmission is to offer delicious, low glycemic cookies and treats.

During the research project, the staff and student food science team at the CFWI Innovation Centre assisted Bald Baker with recipe optimization, which included: the addition of natural preservatives; identifying packaging options; exploring modified atmosphere packaging (MAP); conducting organoleptic shelf-life studies; monitoring critical variables towards optimization of organoleptic properties, while ensuring the inhibition of microbial growth; and providing labelling and regulatory guidance.

Not only vegan, but Bald Baker’s treats are also baked with just 3 grams of sugar or less, making them a diabetic-friendly dessert company. They “deconstructed a normal cookie,” and instead of high-calorie, nutrient-void ingredients, use nuts, healthy fats, and almond, coconut and quinoa flours, among some of the nutritious ingredients.

From this collaboration, made possible with funding by the Ontario Centres of Excellence, the company was also able to “significantly improve” their understanding of product development and production processes, and were able to commercialize two cookie products, now available through Toronto stores.

Since the project, Bald Baker is now on the shelves of Nature’s Emporium, Ambrosia and are working on a possible partnership with Sobey’s.

“We’re also working on a fifth SKU, tentatively named the ‘trail remix’,” Sennet says of the fall launch.

To learn more about CFWI Innovation Centre projects, visit the website.