Celiac.com 04/26/2013 - A team of researchers recently looked at the influence of grain size on the quality of gluten-free bread formulas. Specifically, the team looked at the influence of different maize flour types and their particle sizes on the quality of two types of gluten-free bread.

Photo: CC--IITAThe research team included E. de la Hera, M. Talegón, P. Caballero, M. Gómez. They are affiliated with the Food Technology Area of E.T.S. Ingenierías Agrarias at Valladolid University in Palencia, Spain.

Maize is a grains that is safe for celiacs to eat. Along with rice, maize is the most cultivated grain in the world. However, while some gluten-free breads include maize in their recipes, there is very little study data on how maize flour impacts gluten-free bread quality.

For their study, the team looked at the influence of different maize flour types and their particle sizes on the quality of two types of gluten-free bread; one made with 80% water in the formulation, and the other made with 110% water.

They also analyzed the microstructure of the dough and its behavior during the fermentation.

The team found that finer flours had a lower dough development during fermentation in all cases. Among the different types of flour, those whose microstructure revealed compact particles were those which produced higher specific bread volume, especially when the particle size was greater.

Overall, the dough with more water gave breads with higher specific volume, an effect that was more important in more compact flours. The higher volume breads were also softer and more resilient.

This study shows that type of corn flour and mainly its particle size have a profound influence on the development of gluten-free bread dough during fermentation, and thus on the final volume and texture of the breads.

The flours with coarser particle size are the best for making gluten-free maize-based breads.

Still, the study notes that factors beyond flour particle size, such as the maize variety and milling process, influenced the viability of maize flour in gluten-free breads and suggest that these factors should be studied in greater depth.

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