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Ginger offers to improve functionality of baked products.

Adding ginger to baked products can make them more nutritious and healthy without negatively impacting the formulation. Ginger has already received attention as a botanical dietary supplement in recent years, mainly for treating chronic inflammatory conditions. Ginger may also decrease pain from arthritis, although studies have been inconclusive. It may have blood-thinning and cholesterol-lowering properties that may make it useful for treating heart disease. In the West, powdered dried ginger root is made into capsules and sold in pharmacies for medicinal purposes.

Researchers from Italy set out to evaluate the effects of different levels of ginger powder, ranging up to 6%, on the rheological properties of wheat flour-based dough and bread. They intended to obtain an antioxidant-enriched final product with good physicochemical and sensorial properties. They evaluated the rheological properties of the dough samples using dynamic rheological measurements and found that bread enriched with 3% powdered ginger could offer higher antioxidant levels and still have an acceptable taste.

The investigators observed the highest phenol content in bread enriched with 6% powdered ginger, but these samples were not well received sensorially. Of the samples studied, those containing 3% powdered ginger showed good rheological characteristics and had levels of antioxidants two times higher than the control bread. These also were well accepted.

According to the scientists, ginger powder can be used as a functional material, but only in the proper way so that adding it to baked products would cause few changes to the product's texture, sensory or functional properties. More research is needed to verify that enriched ginger-containing bread offers health effects in vivo. In addition, research is being conducted to test the overall quality characteristics of bread enriched with powdered ginger at levels between 3% and 4.5%.

Further information. Federica Balestra, Alma Mater Studiorum, University of Bologna, Department of Food Science, Campus of Food Science, Piazza Goidanich 60, 47521 Cesena, Italy; phone: +39 051 2096761; fax: +39 051 2096764; email:
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Publication:Emerging Food R&D Report
Date:Feb 1, 2011
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