Specialty flour boosts antioxidant content
A study published in the Journal of Food Science (on-line, January 2016) suggests that when replacing half of standard baking flour with select specialty flour, it is possible to boost the antioxidant content of baked goods. This includes polyphenols as well as vitamin E.
Scientists at the School of Agriculture, Food and Wine at the University of Adelaide in Australia made pita bread from either 100% bakers' flour (control) or 50% malt flour, whole grain flour or flour from barley grains pearled at 10%, 15% and 20% grain weight. The antioxidant capacity and vitamin E content of the flours and pitas were determined by their ability to scavenge 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radicals and through high-performance liquid chromatography, respectively.
The researchers found that the pitas made from either whole grain or pearled barley flour had a higher antioxidant capacity, and most also had higher vitamin E content than standard pita. The antioxidant and vitamin E levels were reduced in pearled compared to whole grain flour, but the extent of that reduction varied among genotypes. Sensory analysis suggested the pitas were acceptable to consumers and retained similar physical and sensory properties to those of the control pita.