Buckwheat flour improves textural and nutritional of gluten-free breads

Buckwheat flour significantly improves the nutritional and textural properties in gluten-free bread formulations.

According to a study by the Italian researchers from DiSTAM (Department of Food Science and Technology and Microbiology) at the University of Milan, it is established that high levels of buckwheat flours improved both the textural and nutritional properties of gluten-free breads.

The research showed that the inclusion of over a third of buckwheat flour in formulations had flavourable impacts on the leavening characteristics of gluten-free breads and thus overall quality.

The research team wrote: “The improvements in dough development due to the incorporation of dehulled buckwheat flour can be attributed to an increased viscosity, due to its high dietary fibre content, to the swelling and gelling properties of the buckwheat starch and to the emulsion-forming and stabilising properties of the globulin protein fraction”.

The study also discovered that the bread crumb in the final product was softened with the inclusion of puffed buckwheat flour as well as the food additive HPMC.

The researchers added: “Although the food industry has risen to the formulation challenges associated with removing gluten from dough, and a number of gluten-free products are now commercially available, many gluten-free bread formulations are still based on pure starches, resulting in low technological and nutritional quality”.

Buckwheat is among a handful of ancient grains such as quinoa and amaranth that are used as flour alternatives for gluten-free bread.

The research team studied ten mixtures all with varying levels of buckwheat flours and HPMC. Both dehulled and puffed buckwheat flour were used in the formulations. All experimental formulations were based on the recipes from the two commercial samples.

The formulation that resulted in the most flavourable end gluten-free bread product was comprised of 40% dehulled buckwheat flour, 5% puffed buckwheat flour and 0.5% HPMC.

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