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Study finds lentil flours require careful formulation in cakes

By Kacey Culliney , 22-Aug-2012

Lentil flours can be successfully incorporated into sponge cake formulations but flour particle size is crucial to the end quality of the product, finds a new study.

Published in the journal of LWT – Food Science and Technology the study investigated the inclusion of lentil flour in both layer and sponge cakes. Two types of lentil flours were used (yellow and orange) in the study with two different particle sizes; one fine and one coarse.

Researchers from the Food Technology Area, ETS Agricultural Engineering at the Valladolid University in Madrid, concluded that lentil flours had the most favourable outcome when used in sponge cakes at a fine particle size.

However, Lentil cultivars can impact cake colour and flavour, but “if these aspects are not favourable, they could always be masked using fillings and toppings”, they suggested.

“The study demonstrates that it is possible to incorporate lentil flour into cake formulations, increasing the nutritional value. However, the effects depend on the type of cake being made and are more marked in layer cakes,” researchers wrote.

“It is important to correctly select lentil-flour characteristics, with a preference for fine flours,” they said.

“Flours with the smaller particle size behaved best in cake making and produced the highest volume and lowest density values.”

Legume fortification

Legumes are acknowledged for a wide portfolio of nutritional benefits, including vitamin and mineral content, antioxidant activity, low glycaemic index and protein, starch and carbohydrate value.

Consumption is linked to therapeutic effects on cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and bone health, according to the study.

“The addition of legumes to cereal-based products could be a good means by which to increase the consumption of these products,” researchers said.

Soft and nutritious

Findings showed that when fine lentil flour was incorporated into sponge cake formulations, volume was increased and hardness reduced but when used in layer-cakes density was reduced.

It was concluded that 50% lentil flour substitution ensured optimal volume in sponge cakes, but at 100% cake volume decreased.

                          

Journal: LWT – Food Science and Technology
Published online ahead of print: 10.1016/j.lwt.2012.05.009
“Studies of the quality of cakes made with wheat-lentil composite flours”
Authors: E. de la Hera, E. Ruiz-Paris, B. Oliete and M. Gomez

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