Food Forward

Crafting Healthier Shokupan: Addressing Challenges in Bread Manufacturing

Southeast Asia’s Bakery Market Surge

The Southeast Asia bakery scene is baking up a storm! With the bread market valued at a piping hot US$32.7 billion in 2023, it’s set to expand to an incredible 20.1 billion kg by 2028, growing at a delicious rate of 4.49% each year (CAGR 2023-2028)7.

But the real zest in this bakery boom? Consumers are becoming more selective with their bread selections. No longer settling for just any loaf, they’re searching for premium options brimming with health benefits. 

“…they’re searching for premium options brimming with health benefits”.​

This has led many companies to offer healthier baked goods with high-fibre varieties, gluten-free delights, and low-fat flatbreads.

Clearly, the region’s bakers are stepping up, making every bite both delicious and healthy. Southeast Asia is embracing a new wave of health-conscious baking!

Source: Statista, 20237

Kneading Bread into Japan’s History

Bread is a staple food we all know and love. Traditionally crafted from a blend of flours, wet ingredients, and leavening agents, it then baked till it emerges firm and crusty, ready to be enjoyed7.

Journey back to the heart of the 16th century, and you’d find Japan’s first encounter with this delightful staple. Thanks to Portuguese traders, bread found its way into the Japanese landscape and soon became the sustenance for weary soldiers. Over time, it found its place comfortably into the Japanese diet3.

Enter Shokupan – Japan’s iconic milk bread. Renowned for its lusciously sweet, dense yet pillowy soft texture, this bread is every bit a comfort food as it is a culinary marvel. Its dreamy fluff and milky sweetness trace back to the ingenious ‘tangzhong’ method. By starting with a simple mix of flour and water or milk to create a base, this method infuses the bread with that signature chewy bite8.

Challenges of Producing Bread En Masse

One of the hallmarks of freshly baked bread is its delightful softness. Yet, as time ticks on, this softness dwindles, giving way to a harder texture that lacks the initial moistness and elasticity bread lovers cherish3.

The balance of dough consistency relies heavily on its water absorption capacity. This not only governs the even spread and hydration of dough materials but also plays a pivotal role in sculpting the gluten protein network1.

In a manufacturing setting, not getting the water content right can invite a host of challenges. Overdo it, and you’re left with waste4. Underdo it, and you’re faced with a dough that’s stubborn to knead, demanding extra effort and time2. Yet another hurdle in the bread-making journey is the low fibre content. Typically, the wheat flour that goes into bread undergoes refining. While this might enhance some aspects of the bread, it diminishes its nutritional quality, especially its fibre content6.

Consuming bread with low fibre isn’t just a taste concern – it’s a health one. After all, a diet skimping on dietary fibre is linked to several health issues, including heart disease, diabetes, and even colon cancer6.

Rising to the Challenge via Functional Ingredients

Bread-making is both an art and a science, often met with unique challenges. Navigating these challenges calls for innovation.

As the quest for healthier, longer-lasting, and tastier bread grows, functional ingredients emerge as game-changers. They not only enhance flavour and texture but also tackle specific production hurdles. Let’s explore some of these ingredients and the unique benefits each brings to the baking table.

  • Easy dispersibility.
  • Increased softness and elasticity.
  • Optimal anti-staling effect by complexing with the starch and delaying the starch retrogradation.
  • Improvement of volume in yeast-raised bakery products.

Palsgaard® SSL 3426

  • Improved mixing tolerance – by complexing with gluten proteins.
  • Increased bread volume – by strengthening the gluten network.
  • Highest volume effect in bread systems with fat.
  • Improved crumb texture – finer structure because of interacting with gluten proteins.

Musim Mas – Masemul EB 1005

  • Results in significant improvement in machinability, shape retention.
  • Crumb softening or shelf-life extension by reducing the rate of starch retrogradation.
  • Dough strengthening for better gas retention and optimum bread volume.
  • Enhance hydration of the flour and other ingredients.

Beneo Orafti® HPX

  • Fibre enrichment
  • Promotes digestive health.
  • Act as prebiotic (long chain inulin from chicory root).
  • Reduced blood glucose response.
  • Enhances nutritional profile by closing the fibre gap in gluten-free bread.
  • Maintain good dough properties (the doughs are more stable).

Marketing the Benefits to Buyers

Navigating the complexities of bread-making has given rise to innovative solutions but bringing them to the forefront requires equally creative marketing.

Our product in focus, The Shokupan, with its artisanal roots and modern appeal, offers a unique story to tell. It’s crucial to showcase how these attributes can be effectively presented to the consumer.

Here, we introduce some marketing concept examples, from chic packaging designs to strategic storytelling, all tailored to highlight the unique essence of Shokupan and its standout features.

Packaging Concept: Shokupan (Japanese Milk Bread)

Values to Convey:

  1. Japanese-inspired
  2. Artisanal
  3. Exceptional quality
  4. Chic & Trendy
  5. Not your everyday bread

Poster Concept: USP Oriented


  1. High in Chicory Root Fibre
  2. Enriched with Whole Milk
  3. Pillowy Soft Texture
  4. Authentic Japanese Recipe

Poster Concept: Storytelling


  1. Almoraie, N. M., & Shatwan, I. M. (2021). Effect of camel milk on the physicochemical, rheological, and sensory qualities of bread. Journal of Food Quality, 2021, 1–7.
  2. Cappelli, A., & Cini, E. (2021). Challenges and opportunities in wheat flour, pasta, bread, and bakery product production chains: A systematic review of innovations and improvement strategies to increase sustainability, productivity, and product quality. Sustainability, 13(5), 2608.
  3. DKSH. (n.d.).  Exploring the Rising Popularity of Bread in Asia. Retrieved from
  4. KPM. (n.d.). Water Absorption Capacity of Flour. Retrieved from
  5. Mordor Intelligence. (2023). Southeast Asia Bakery Products Market Size & Share Analysis – Growth Trends & Forecasts (2023 – 2028). Industry Report.
  6. Ni, Q., Ranawana, V., Hayes, H. E., Hayward, N. J., Stead, D., & Raikos, V. (2020). Addition of broad bean hull to wheat flour for the development of high-fiber bread: Effects on physical and nutritional properties. Foods, 9(9), 1192.
  7. Statista. (2023). Bread – Southeast Asia. Industry Report.