Research was presented on the impact of enhanced gluten functionality flour on flatbreads, specifically tortillas.


SAN DIEGO — Research presented at Cereals 17, AACC International’s annual meeting, held Oct. 8-11 in San Diego, offered a window into the future of clean-label formulation. As a part of the symposia, presenters discussed the diverse solutions available to the baking industry for clean-label formulation including enzymes, wheat tempering pre-treatment, flour and starch texturizers, and gluten enhancement. Attendees also were able to learn about the impact of these solutions on food processing, dough rheology, finished product attributes and shelf stability. 

Tom Jondiko, Ph.D., Solvaira Specialties, presented on research done at Texas A&M University on the impact of enhanced gluten functionality flour on flatbreads, specifically tortillas. By enhancing the gluten functionality in three varieties of wheat, and then using flour from that wheat in tortilla formulating, researchers found that this enhanced gluten function improved tortilla height, elasticity and used a comparable final tortilla diameter to the control tortillas. Tortillas made with enzymes, gums and reducing agents did not score as well in these areas. 

“We can reduce the use of enzymes, gums and reducing agents because they don’t improve these attributes compared to enhanced gluten function,” Dr. Jondiko said. 

Alejandro J. Perez-Gonzalez, R.&D. manager, Delavau Food Partners, showed the effects of relaxing and strengthening clean-label conditioning systems on dough rheology and baking performance. The relaxing system resulted in a more extensible dough but small changes in the levels of usage had a great impact on the final results. The strengthening system resulted in a stronger and more tolerant dough. The key to clean label, Mr. Perez-Gonzalez said, is optimizing the ingredients. 

“Clean-label ingredient usage needs to be optimized according to the application and the formula for the best results,” he said. 

Physically processed, multi-functional flours were shown to have similar functionality to starches. Tarak Shah, business scientist, Ingredion, presented research that showed after being treated by a hydrothermal process, flour exhibited improved viscosity and texture in finished products, retrogradation stability and process tolerance. All of this while just being labeled as “flour” in the ingredient list. 

These findings offer the industry insight into new ways of thinking about clean label, ways to improve formulating and widening the playing field for formulating solutions.