Ginseng is a plant native to Asia and has been used widely across the region in traditional medicines for many years. While extensive research is underway into a range of therapeutic benefits, the extract is most commonly associated with enhancing stamina and reducing feelings of fatigue and physical stress.
Research published in Food Science Biotechnology has looked into using ginseng powder in hard-wheat flour and soft-wheat flour bread and cookie formulations, analysing impact on end quality.
Findings showed the inclusion of ginseng powder leads to a reduction in overall quality with significantly smaller loaf sizes and cookie widths.
“A decrease in the loaf volume of the bread sample baked from the hard-wheat flour/ginseng powder blend could be explained by lower amounts of wheat gluten in the bread formulation, resulting in a weaker gluten matrix with the reduced ability to retain gases created during fermentation,” researchers said.
“The findings indicated that the dough made from hard-wheat flour/ginseng powder was weaker and less stable during mixing than that made from hard-wheat flour alone.”
Researchers claimed the cookie width reduction was as a result of increased water absorption in the formulation.
“The addition of ginseng powder to hard-wheat flour and soft-wheat flour induced an increase in water absorption values and decreased the viscosity values during the heating process.”
“So-called healthy foods, especially those with nutraceutical properties, are in great demand in our health conscious society. Bread and cookies are good candidates in this respect, for a portion of their wheat flour to be replaced with nutraceutical ingredients, such as ginseng,” the researchers said.
Researchers suggested that while a slight decrease in overall quality was recorded for bread and cookies fortified with ginseng, consumers may outweigh this given the presence of the nutraceutical component.
“Therefore, the production of breads and cookies which incorporate ginseng powder can broaden the utilization of ginseng, and the products can be regarded as possible health-promoting nutraceutical foods,” researchers said.
Source: Food Science Biotechnology
Vol 21 No. 4 p 951-957, DOI: 10.1007/s10068-012-0125-y
“Effect of ginseng powder addition on physicochemical properties of wheat bread and cookies”
Authors: YH. Chang and PKW. Ng