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Barley beta-d-glucan and wheat arabinoxylan soluble fibre technologies for health promoting bread products

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Baking a different bread

Bread is probably one of the most common items to be found on dinner tables across Europe. With our growing awareness of food content, and its effects on health, bread has taken a knock for the worst. New barley based bread products begin to bake a different story.

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Barley has been traditionally difficult to bake into a marketable product suitable for consumption. Most notably, part of the problem was the baking performance of the barley grain, and the dough making process, both often interfering with texture and volume. A European Union funded project sought to merge a hull-less barley flour with that of a wheat flour. This has resulted in a suitable product that has some advantageous effects on health. Barley is a soluble fibre containing elements of soluble arabinoxylan and beta-glucans. These have been shown to have positive influences on lowering blood cholesterol and a reducing postprandialglycaemic response - critical for controlling diabetes. However, to make optimum effect of these ingredients, a new milling process had to be developed utilising the hull-less barley grains. As such, this project sought to establish milling techniques that would preserve high levels of alpha-amylase, beta-glucanase and arabinoxylanase activities. The successful establishment of such was closely followed by the development of recipes and a suitable combination of ingredients that overcame the problem of sticky dough. The final result is a series of breads that introduces both nutritional heath benefits and new products to the market.

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