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Reducing bran compound can help make a tastier whole wheat loaf, say researchers

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By Nathan Gray+

10-Jan-2013
Last updated the 10-Jan-2013 at 13:39 GMT

Reducing bran compound can help make a tastier whole wheat loaf, say researchers

Controlling levels of a bran compound known as ferulic acid could help to improve the taste and smell of whole wheat bread products, researchers suggest.

The key to giving whole wheat bread a more appetising aroma and taste could lie in reducing levels of a single chemical compound known as ferulic acid, say researchers writing in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Led by Devin Peterson from the University of Minnesota, USA, the research team report that the release of ferulic acid from bran in whole wheat flour is related to a reduction in important flavour and aroma compounds during the baking process.

Peterson and his team were able to confirm this observation in whole wheat bread by adding ferulic acid to refined wheat flour, where they saw that the addition of the compound also blocked aroma and flavour compounds that would usually form.

“The observed reduction in these five aroma compounds provides novel insight into the mechanisms of flavour development in whole wheat flour bread,” said the researchers, who added that their findings could open the door to making whole wheat bakery products more appealing to millions of people.

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But ferulic acid is probably good for you

Wait! Ferulic acid appears to have health benefits. Is it really something we want to reduce or eliminate? From Wikipedia:

Ferulic acid, like many natural phenols, is an antioxidant in vitro in the sense that it is reactive toward free radicals such as reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS and free radicals are implicated in DNA damage, cancer, accelerated cell aging. Animal studies and in vitro studies suggest that ferulic acid may have direct antitumor activity against breast cancer[2] and liver cancer.[3] Ferulic acid may have pro-apoptotic effects in cancer cells, thereby leading to their destruction.[3] Ferulic acid may be effective at preventing cancer induced by exposure to the carcinogenic compounds benzopyrene[4] and 4-nitroquinoline 1-oxide.[5]

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Posted by George Williard
11 January 2013 | 06h10

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