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Use flax and rice bran to produce quality bread.

The high-fiber content, lignans and omega-3 elements of flax seed can be natural preventatives against heart disease. When flax seed is added to the diet, harmful levels of LDL cholesterol may drop, and levels of good HDL cholesterol may grow. Consumer interest generated from the reported health benefits of both flaxseed and rice bran has contributed to the introduction of numerous value-added products, including breads and baked cereal goods.

Flax, which is high in alpha-linolenic acid (LNA, 18:3n3), and rice bran, which is high in tocopherols and tocotrienols, have demonstrated lipid-modifying effects which lower the risk for the onset of cardiovascular disease. However, there is not an extensive amount of literature describing formulations incorporating flax and rice bran and their functional characteristics in foods.

Researchers at Purdue University first wanted to determine how much flaxseed or rice bran could be added to a bread formulation while still maintaining the quality and physical characteristics associated with bread. Their second objective was to determine if enough n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and phytochemicals could be incorporated into a bread to achieve desired health claims.

The scientists modified bread formulations using AACC-approved methods. They baked the bread using identical bread machines. Measurements were performed on bread volume, texture, color and visual acceptance. Gas chromatography (GC) and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) techniques were used to analyze fatty acid content and phytochemicals.

The results indicated that 15% flax, 15% flax-rice bran (1:1 w/w) and 20% rice bran could be successfully incorporated into a bread formulation that would not significantly differ in quality from white bread. Seventy grams--two slices--of 15% flax bread were capable of delivering 1.4 g alpha-linolenic acid, an amount that satisfies the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) values for females up to 70 years of age. Concentrations of tocols in the breads were less than the concentrations found in the raw materials.

So it appears that using flax and rice bran in a formula was capable of producing quality bread. These breads can be easily adopted into a risk factor management program to provide a package of health protectants. Further information. Bruce Watkins, Department of Food Science, Purdue University, Center for Enhancing Foods to Protect Health, 745 Agriculture Mall Dr., West Lafayette, IN 47907; phone: 765-494-5802; fax: 765-494-7953; email:
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Publication:Emerging Food R&D Report
Date:Apr 1, 2004
Previous Article:Investigate new uses for lactose.
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