Making whole wheat bread taste and smell more appetizing

January 9, 2013
Making whole wheat bread taste and smell more appetizing

The key to giving whole wheat bread a more appetizing aroma and taste may lie in controlling the amounts of a single chemical compound that appears in the bread, which nutritionists regard as more healthful than its refined white counterpart. That's the finding of a new study in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, which opens the door to making whole wheat bakery products more appealing to millions of people.

Devin G. Peterson and colleagues explain that whole wheat flour includes all three layers of the grain—bran, germ and —while refined flour is mostly endosperm. Whole wheat flour contains more fiber and compounds called phytochemicals, both of which can help reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Despite wheat bread's benefits, many consumers choose because they prefer its taste and aroma. Peterson wanted to find out how one specific compound prevalent in whole wheat flour impacts its taste and aroma.

They focused on ferulic acid (FA), found mainly in bran. Scientists already knew that FA suppresses one of the critical components of baked bread's aroma. When Peterson's team added FA to white flour dough, the bread tasted and smelled like wheat bread. They linked those changes to reduced amounts of a number of compounds that help shape bread's aroma. Understanding these chemical reactions could help bakers make healthier bread more appetizing, the study suggests.

Explore further: Ancient genes used to produce salt-tolerant wheat

More information: "Influence of Endogenous Ferulic Acid in Whole Wheat Flour on Bread Crust Aroma" J. Agric. Food Chem., 2012, 60 (45), pp 11245–11252. DOI: 10.1021/jf303750y

The influence of wheat flour type (refined (RWF)/whole (WWF)) on bread crust aroma was investigated. Differences were characterized by aroma extract dilution analysis and quantified utilizing stable isotope surrogate standards. For RWF breads, five aroma compounds were higher in concentration, 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline, 4-hydroxy-2,5-dimethyl-3(2H)-furanone, 2-phenylethanol, 2-acetyl-2-thiazoline, and 2,4-dihyroxy-2,5-dimethyl-3(2H)-furanone, by 4.0-, 3.0-, 2.1-, 1.7-, and 1.5-fold, respectively, whereas three compounds were lower, 2-ethyl-3,5-dimethylpyrazine, (E,E)-2,4-decadienal, and (E)-2-nonenal by 6.1-, 2.1-, and 1.8-fold, respectively. A trained sensory panel reported the perceived aroma intensity of characteristic fresh refined bread crust aroma was significantly higher in RWF compared to WWF crust samples. Addition of 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline, 4-hydroxy-2,5-dimethyl-3(2H)-furanone, 2-phenylethanol, 2-acetyl-2-thiazoline, and 2,4-dihyroxy-2,5-dimethyl-3(2H)-furanone to the WWF crust (at concentrations equivalent to those in the RWF crust) increased the intensity of the fresh refined bread crust aroma attribute; no significant difference was reported when compared to RWF crust. The liberation of ferulic acid from WWF during baking was related to the observed reduction in these five aroma compounds and provides novel insight into the mechanisms of flavor development in WWF bread.

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5 / 5 (4) Jan 09, 2013
Interesting. I think whole wheat bread smells delicious.

And white bread, with the exception of a good sour dough, smells uninteresting. A sign of disappointing taste to follow.

I don't understand why some people like white bread and pale beer.
1 / 5 (1) Jan 09, 2013
Well said.
5 / 5 (1) Jan 13, 2013
Sadly Wheat (a cultivated grass) has been cross bred so many times and primarily for fast growth, tolerance to diseases, capacity for less water, manages saline waters etc. So that after all this time and change its not as useful for us as a food as it used to be *unless* it comes with the bran which is the essential oils and minerals we need.

Notice most people that eat a lot of bread are obese, its not just the sugar, its far more complex. We are missing good quantities of essential minerals and continuing to eat foods that are domesticated, ie No longer wild and changed long term by various processes primarily for production purposes & not for health !

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