Buckwheat flour improves nutrition and texture in gluten-free bread, study

By Kacey Culliney

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Related tags: Bread

Increased nutrition and texture in gluten-free breads with buckwheat flour, finds research
Increased nutrition and texture in gluten-free breads with buckwheat flour, finds research
Buckwheat flour significantly improves the nutritional and textural properties in gluten-free bread formulations, a study has found.

Published in the journal Food Hydrocolloids the study investigated the role of buckwheat and hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) on the bread-making properties of gluten-free formulations.

The Italian researchers from DiSTAM (Department of Food Science and Technology and Microbiology) at the University of Milan concluded that high levels of buckwheat flours improved both the textural and nutritional properties of gluten-free breads.

Findings showed that the inclusion of up to 40% of buckwheat flour in formulations had favourable impacts on the leavening characteristics of gluten-free breads and thus overall quality.

“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 stabilizing properties of the globulin protein fraction,”​ the researchers wrote.

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

Gluten-free formulation challenges

“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,”​ the researchers said.

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

The study

Researchers evaluated ten mixtures (2 commercial, 8 experimental) all with varying levels of buckwheat flours and HPMC. Both a 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 favourable end gluten-free bread product was comprised of 40% dehulled buckwheat flour, 5% puffed buckwheat flour and 0.5% HPMC.

Source: Journal of Food Hydrocolloids
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.foodhyd.2012.07.005
"The role of buckwheat and HPMC on the breadmaking properties of some commercial gluten-free bread mixtures" 
Authors: M. Mariotti, M. Ambrogina Pagani and M. Lucisano 

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