Snack Size Science: Squid, noodles and French baguettes

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By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Snack size science, Bread

Snack Size Science: Squid, noodles and French baguettes
FoodNavigator's Snack Size Science brings you the week's top science. This week we look at the curious alternatives to food classics, with squid sausages, seaweed noodles, and gluten-free baguettes all on the menu.

The following is a transcript of this podcast:

This is FoodNavigator’s Snack Size Science​. I’m Stephen Daniells - bringing you the week’s top science in digestible amounts.

The menu this week is for the consumers with an eclectic palate. The main course is squid sausages on a bed of seaweed noodles, accompanied by French bread that isn’t all it seems to be.

Mexican scientists plumbed the depths this week to report that muscle from the mantle of jumbo squids could lead to a range of products like squid frankfurters.

Writing in the International Journal of Food Science & Technology​, the results suggested that, despite some microbiological problems, the squid frankfurters had acceptable scores for colour, flavour, aroma, and texture.

But it seems unlikely that the product will be making a splash anytime soon. The researchers noted that tests showed consumers only ‘slightly liked’ the frankfurters, possibly because the tasters had never tasted anything quite like it before.

Keeping the marine flavour, researchers from the University of Singapore and Nestle’s R&D centre in the island city-state reported that noodles formulated with alginate from seaweed had improved texture, and were very appealing to the eye.

Tapping into the emerging market for instant noodles, the Singapore-based researchers took production up to the pilot plant scale, and said that progress to date had been extremely encouraging.

In addition to textural improvements, the alginate-noodles were also found to slow down the digestion of the dough by amylase enzymes, which could possibly improve the relatively high glycemic index of instant rice noodles. A lower GI means sugars are released more slowly into the blood stream improving the sense of fullness for longer.

If you’re mouth is still watering, may I offer you gluten-free French bread. Removing gluten from bakery products presents many technological challenges since gluten plays such a crucial role in the texture of the product.

Scientists from the CNRS reported in the Journal of Food Science​ that a mixture of buckwheat flour and guar gum produced bread with an increased volume, a soft texture, and a good colour, similar to real French-style bread.

With the gluten-free market estimated to be worth $2.6 billion by 2012, it’s clear there are several ways of making dough.

For FoodNavigator’s Snack Size Science​, I’m Stephen Daniells.

Related topics: R&D

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