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Improving the quality of gluten-free bread From August 2011 newsletter

Improving the quality of gluten-free bread

New research is showing how the quality of gluten-free bread can be improved by modifying dough production and processing.The eating characteristics of bread rely heavily on the gluten network that develops when wheat dough is processed, and this network is dependent on the nature and composition of wheat proteins. However, a significant number of people suffer from coeliac disease, which is an intolerance to some of the proteins in wheat, and so there have been many attempts to produce bread from an alternative source.This can prove difficult as dough structure development traditionally relies on the interaction between the process used and properties of the flour.

Gentle process

Using a model system based on egg white proteins, gums and stabilisers, processing conditions are being investigated that will allow the protein-hydrocolloid combination to maintain an acceptable bubble structure, and prevent the rapid bubble growth that can be a problem with this type of product. A more gentle process may result in a more acceptable and reproducible bread structure. In simple terms, the dough is processed at a lower temperature for a longer time: once the starch in the system starts to gelatinise, it can 'take over' the maintenance of the bubble structure and the temperature can be raised to achieve a final product having the desired crumb and crust properties.

Contact: Charles Speirs
+44(0)1386 842284

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