Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Chemists Create Healthier Pizza By Boosting Antioxidants In Dough

Date:
March 27, 2007
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Attention pizza lovers: Researchers at the University of Maryland has discovered how to boost the antioxidant content of pizza dough by optimizing baking and fermentation methods, a finding that could lead to healthier pizza, they say. Deep-dish, Chicago-style pizza, with its longer baking time and thick crust, may contain more antioxidants than other pizza styles, they add.

A team of food chemists at the University of Maryland has discovered how to boost the antioxidant content of pizza dough by optimizing baking and fermentation methods, a finding that could lead to healthier pizza, they say.
Credit: Photo by Scott Bauer / Courtesy of USDA/Agricultural Research Service

In an effort to improve health, many popular foods are undergoing a more nutritious make-over. Now, a team of food chemists at the University of Maryland has discovered how to boost the antioxidant content of pizza dough by optimizing baking and fermentation methods, a finding that could lead to healthier pizza, they say.

Related Articles


Pizza bakers have known for some time that longer-baking times and higher temperatures can enhance the flavor of pizza. The new study shows that these intense baking conditions also may boost antioxidant levels in dough, especially whole wheat varieties, the researchers say. Their findings were presented today at the 233rd national meeting of the American Chemical Society.

That's good news for fans of deep-dish, Chicago-style pizza, whose longer baking time and thicker crust "may have the potential to deliver higher levels of antioxidants in comparison to other pizza styles," says study co-author Jeffrey Moore, a doctoral student in food chemistry at the University of Maryland, College Park. Diets rich in antioxidants are thought to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.

"We chose to investigate pizza dough because it's one of the most popular wheat-based food products in the U.S.," says Moore. "Making popular food more healthy using the tools of chemistry may have a larger impact on public health."

The study is part of an ongoing effort by researchers at the university to discover and develop new technologies that enhance the levels of natural antioxidants in grain-based food ingredients such as whole wheat flour. That effort is lead by Liangli Lucy Yu, Ph.D., an associate professor of food chemistry at the school and Moore's graduate advisor.

To demonstrate the effect of different baking conditions on the antioxidant levels in pizza dough, Moore exposed whole grain pizza dough from two different varieties of wheat to different baking temperatures, from 400 to 550 degrees Fahrenheit, and to different baking times, from 7 to 14 minutes. A number of tests were used to measure changes in antioxidant properties.

Longer baking times or higher temperatures generally corresponded to higher levels of antioxidants in comparison to less intense baking conditions, Moore found. Antioxidant levels increased by as much as 60 percent during longer baking times and by as much as 82 percent during higher baking temperatures, depending on the type of wheat flour and the antioxidant test used, the researcher says. The exact mechanisms involved are not yet fully understood, he says.

Both baking time and temperature can be increased together at the same without burning the pizza, according to Moore, if the process is monitored carefully.

As pizza dough is often allowed to ferment before baking, Moore tested the effect of different fermentation times, ranging from zero to 48 hours, on antioxidant properties. Longer fermentation times also boosted antioxidant levels, in some cases by as much as 100 percent, he says. The increase likely resulted from chemical reactions induced by yeasts, which had more time to release the antioxidant components that were bound in the dough, Moore says.

Although only whole wheat pizza was used in this study, it is possible that these same cooking factors -- longer baking time, higher temperature and longer fermentation -- also will have an antioxidant boosting effect on refined pizza dough, but the effect will likely be less obvious, Moore says. That's because most of the antioxidants in wheat are found in the bran and endosperm components, which have been largely removed in refined flour, he says.

Funding for this study was supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Research Initiative, along with grants from the Colorado Wheat Research Foundation, Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board, the Colorado Agricultural Experiment Station and the Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station. This research was not funded by the pizza industry, Moore says.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. The original article was written by Mark T. Sampson. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Chemists Create Healthier Pizza By Boosting Antioxidants In Dough." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 March 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070326181611.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2007, March 27). Chemists Create Healthier Pizza By Boosting Antioxidants In Dough. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070326181611.htm
American Chemical Society. "Chemists Create Healthier Pizza By Boosting Antioxidants In Dough." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070326181611.htm (accessed April 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

AP (Mar. 31, 2015) — Although she never had much interest in prosthetic limbs before, Faith Lennox couldn&apos;t wait to slip on her new robohand. The 7-year-old, who lost part of her left arm when she was a baby, grabbed it as soon as it came off a 3-D printer. (March 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 31, 2015) — The Solitair device aims to take the confusion out of how much sunlight we should expose our skin to. Small enough to be worn as a tie or hair clip, it monitors the user&apos;s sun exposure by taking into account their skin pigment, location and schedule. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Washington Post (Mar. 30, 2015) — Denisa Livingston, a health advocate for the Dinι Community Advocacy Alliance, and the Post&apos;s Abby Phillip discuss efforts around the country to make unhealthy food choices hurt your wallet as much as your waistline. Video provided by Washington Post
Powered by NewsLook.com
UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 30, 2015) — The $12.8 billion merger will combine the U.S.&apos; third and fourth largest pharmacy benefit managers. Analysts say smaller PBMs could also merge. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins