Researchers from the Universidad Auto'noma de Coahulia in Mexico say such a move can help companies capitalize on the growing health and wellness trend.
They found non-traditional flour sources and composite flours (mix of wheat and alternative flour sources) demonstrate functional properties, for example:
- Yacon flour has shown high prebiotic properties due to its high fructooligosaccharides content.
- Green dwarf banana flour is noted to prevent intestinal inflammation because of its high content of resistant starch (RS).
- Taro has shown to play a role in the reduction of high blood pressure.
To measure results, the researchers observed the most commonly measured properties of baked goods: water absorption capacity (WAC), oil absorption capacity (OAC), foaming capacity (FC), emulsion capacity (EC) and emulsion stability (ES). These properties play a key role in understanding the mechanical properties that serve as predictors for the quality of products.
They found that baked goods made from alternative flours maintained acceptable physical characteristics and sensorial acceptability, while in some cases, an improvement was seen due to the effect of probiotics and prebiotics.
They also reported alternative flours not only provide different flavors and aromas, but also appeal to a different consumer base, such as those intolerant of gluten.
Furthermore, the researchers noted composite flours have several other advantages, including cost reduction, harnessing an abundant crop and using a raw material that otherwise would go to waste.
However, the scientists noted a different approach was needed to maintain the probiotics in baked goods, as most microorganisms are destroyed at the high temperatures when baked.
On examination, they found sourdough technology supplies bioactive compounds derived from dough’s fermentation by lactic acid bacteria, which means it still delivers the benefits of probiotics without the actual delivery of live probiotic cells.
They also found this technology provides a wider range of aroma, flavor and texture; increased shelf life from the higher content of organic acids; and can be conducted in both aerobic and anaerobic conditions.
While the Mexican scientists concluded that including probiotics and prebiotics in bakery products to be consumed in a daily diet is an effective measure in the preservation and improvement of human health, they noted these products are not to be taken in place of pharmaceuticals.
S. Longoria-García, M. A. Cruz-Hernández, M. I. M. Flores-Verástegui, J. C. Contreras-Esquivel, J. C. Montañez-Sáenz, R. E. Belmares-Cerda.
Journal of Food Science and Technology. . 10.1007/s13197-017-2987-8.