Gluten-free bread, which is suitable for patients with celiac disease, has been supplemented to resemble French bread in terms of texture and color, according to a study in the Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). The study was sponsored by the Commission of the European Communities.
Celiac disease is a digestive disease that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. According to the National Institutes of Health, more than two million people who have celiac disease cannot tolerate gluten, a protein in wheat, rye, and barley. From a food science perspective, proteins play a key role in the unique baking quality of wheat by providing elasticity and cohesiveness to dough. Since bread is prepared mainly from wheat flour containing proteins implicated as the cause of the disease, celiac patients must avoid bread in many countries.
The ingredients added to gluten-free bread include guar gum, buckwheat flour, whole egg powder, and whey proteins. Breads with guar gum had color characteristics similar to French bread. Bread prepared with buckwheat flour had improved quality and softer texture similar to regular French bread and contained dietary fiber.
“Buckwheat flour in the actual base of ingredients was found to have interesting improving effects on the quality attributes of the bread,” according to lead researcher Marie de Lamballerie. “Sensory analysis is now underway to evaluate the acceptance of this formulation by a panel of consumers.”
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