Flavor precursors vital for gluten-free bread aroma: Study

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

Gluten-free breads lack certain compounds found in regular wheat breads that are important for aroma, say researchers
Gluten-free breads lack certain compounds found in regular wheat breads that are important for aroma, say researchers

Related tags Gluten-free bread Wheat Amino acid Bread

Gluten-free bread can be enhanced with amino acid and sugar pairs ahead of baking to improve aroma in the final product, researchers find.

Published in LWT Food Science and Technology,​ researchers investigated the cause of “weak aroma”​ in gluten-free breads and how this could be improved.

Analysis showed gluten-free breads lacked certain flavor compounds that were key to the aroma of regular wheat bread, specifically pyrazines and 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline (2ACP).

Wheat bread contained 41 volatile compounds; wheat rye contained 54 and gluten-free only 33.

“Differences were mainly related to the volatile compounds contained in the crust of the bread,”​ the researchers wrote.

“…So far, gluten-free bread has not been analyzed in terms of the volatile compounds it contains, but this feature is a vital factor for the quality of the product from the consumer’s point of view.”

They said unpleasant sensory notes in gluten-free bread might also be associated with high levels of methional that tends to have a potato-like odor.

Amino acids and sugar

However, the researchers said these compound deficiencies in gluten-free bread could be resolved with the addition of amino acids and sugars to the bread mix.

After testing five amino acid/sugar pairings, the researchers found proline combined with glucose to be most efficient.

These precursors, they explained, combined to create the aromatic compound 2ACP – normally not present in gluten-free bread.

“The addition of aroma precursors of Maillard reaction in the dough prior to baking, as a pair of proline and glucose, filled this shortcoming and allowed bread with a much improved and acceptable aroma to be produced,”​ they wrote.

In consumer testing with celiacs, 80% preferred the gluten-free breads made with these aroma precursors.

“This confirmed the effectiveness of aromatizing gluten-free bread using proline/glucose as flavor precursors,”​ the researchers wrote.

Source: LWT Food Science and Technology
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.lwt.2015.03.032
“Improving the aroma of gluten-free bread”
Authors: M. Pacynski, RZ. Wojtasiak and S. Mildner-Szkudlarz

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