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The healthy bread loaf: Review

By Kacey Culliney , 06-Sep-2012

Fibre, prebiotics, quinoa and omega-3 are just some of the ingredients manufacturers are formulating into bread as health commands a hold on the sector.

The challenge however, is to incorporate highly nutritional ingredients that have none or little impact on sensory and structural properties of the bread.

In a review published in the journal of Food Science and Technology, Iranian researchers delved into recent developments in healthy-functional bread formulations.

“The results show that many beneficial ingredients such as dietary fibres, phenolic antioxidants, marine ingredients, and n-3 fatty acids can be used in the bread industry to increase its functionality and result in healthy products, low in calories and cholesterol as well as cater to celiac disease.”

“Moreover, the use of psyllium seed, amaranth seed, chestnut flour and prebiotics in gluten-free bread baking may be the promising frontier to improve overall appearance, quality, sensory properties, and shelf-life of gluten-free bread.”

However, while functional bakery is becoming increasingly popular the segment remains less developed than dairy, researchers noted.

The first white functional bread was developed 9 years ago by a British-Dutch company and Spanish efforts on functional bakery developments in 2006 were worth 13%, compared to 45% for dairy.

Adding the old and new

The review split functional bread ingredients into two sectors – old and new.

Old ingredients include rice, corn, soy, beans, peas, and other hydrocolloids. New compounds are divided into two categories including grains without gluten such as sorghum and teff and pseudo cereals like amaranth, quinoa and buckwheat fibres.

“New compounds have many benefits such as high levels of protein and amino acids and better digestibility than cereals,” researchers said. They also contain a range of bioactive compounds including antioxidants, fibres, resistant starch and minerals and nutrients.

Fibre, antioxidants, omega-3

A range of fibres are used in bread formulations, including buckwheat, maize and oat, rye and soy flour. Such ingredients improve the functional composition of bread and are known to improve digestive health, the review said.

Natural antioxidants are also used widely with popular choices including turmeric powder, plysaccharide flour and green tea in conventional breads and quinoa, amaranth and chicory flour in gluten-free products. The inclusion of these natural antioxidants is associated with improved colour, taste and textural properties of bread, researchers outlined.

Marine ingredients like fish oils, bioactive peptides and microalgae are also being used in breads for their omega-3, calcium and antioxidant properties. Findings show such ingredients increase shelf-life. The review cites research that suggests encapsulation could aid better incorporation in formulations.

Source: Food Science and Technology
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1007/s13197-012-0833-6
“Recent developments on new formulations based on nutrient-dense ingredients for the production of healthy-functional bread: a review”
Authors: S. Rahaie, S. Mohammad Taghi Gharibzahedi, S. Hadi Razavi and S. Mahdi Jafari

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