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Keeping The Crunch In The Crust

Date:
August 12, 2008
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Scientists in the Netherlands report an advance toward unraveling one of the culinary world's long-standing puzzles: How to maintain the crispy quality of bread crust. The findings could help prolong the coveted crunchiness of bagels, French bread, and other bakery products, the researchers say.

Water content and water movement in the bread during and after baking are the key factors that determine the crispness of crusts, researchers have found.
Credit: iStockphoto/Angelo Gilardelli

Scientists in the Netherlands report an advance toward unraveling one of the culinary world's long-standing puzzles: How to maintain the crispy quality of bread crust. The findings could help prolong the coveted crunchiness of bagels, French bread, and other bakery products, the researchers say.

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In the new study, Neleke van Nieuwenhuijzen, Marcel Meinders, Ton van Vliet, and colleagues point out that scientists have known for years that dry bread crust starts losing its crispness when water migrates into the crust, resulting in a perceived loss of freshness that turns off consumers. Details of the mechanisms involved in this effect, however, have remained a mystery until now.

The scientists baked wheat bread under different moisture conditions, vapor pressures, and temperatures and then studied the water content and texture of the resulting crusts using sensitive laboratory instruments.

They found that water content and water movement in the bread during and after baking were the key factors that determine the crispness of crusts and its retention. By modifying these factors, bakers can optimize bread ingredients to produce crisper, longer-lasting crusts, the researchers say.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. van Nieuwenhuijzen et al. Water Content or Water Activity: What Rules Crispy Behavior in Bread Crust? Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2008; 0 (0): 0 DOI: 10.1021/jf800522c
  2. van Nieuwenhuijzen et al. Water Uptake Mechanism in Crispy Bread Crust. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2008; 0 (0): 0 DOI: 10.1021/jf800537b

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Keeping The Crunch In The Crust." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080804121408.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2008, August 12). Keeping The Crunch In The Crust. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080804121408.htm
American Chemical Society. "Keeping The Crunch In The Crust." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080804121408.htm (accessed January 31, 2015).

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