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Associate yellow color and carotenoid content in wheat grain, flour and bread.

Carotenoids are organic pigments that naturally occur in the chloroplasts and chromoplasts of plants and some other organisms, such as algae, some types of fungus and some bacteria. The yellow color found in wheat flour and its various end products can be attributed largely to carotenoids.

Scientists at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and colleagues elsewhere established a relationship between the color (b*) attributes of the grain, flour and bread of red wheats, and those of white wheats. They indicate that millers and bakers can be assured that wheats with higher carotenoid content in the grain will produce flours and bread products which have greater yellow color attributes and enhanced carotenoid content.

In experiments, two red wheats (AC Barrie and Superb) and four white wheats (Argent, Janz, Snowbird and Snowhite 476) were grown at three western Canadian locations. The researchers measured the color of the grain, flour and bread crumb instrumentally using the CIE L* a* b* color scale. The carotenoid content was estimated using spectrophotometry.

There were significant differences between the red and white wheat in grain and flour in terms of yellow color (b*) content and carotenoid content. There was also a significant difference in the yellow color (b*) of the bread made from red wheat as compared to white wheat, even though there was no difference in crumb texture.

Red wheat straight grade flour and bread crumb were yellower than those from white wheat, and they corresponded to higher carotenoid levels. The yellow color (b*) in bread crumb significantly correlated to the carotenoid content in grain and in flour.

Further information. Odean M. Lukow, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Wheat Chemistry and Quality, 195 Dafoe Rd., Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 2M9, Canada; phone: 204-983-1629; fax: 204-983-4604; email:
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Publication:Emerging Food R&D Report
Date:Dec 1, 2009
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