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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Inventing New Oat and Barley Breads / February 25, 2010 / News from the USDA Agricultural Research Service

Read the magazine story to find out more.

Photo: Oats, barley, and some products made from them. Link to photo information
All-oat or all-barley breads that ARS scientists are developing may offer a different array of vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, protein, and other healthful components than that in whole-wheat breads. Click the image for more information about it.


For further reading

Inventing New Oat and Barley Breads

By Marcia Wood
February 25, 2010

Delicious new all-oat or all-barley breads might result from laboratory experiments now being conducted by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists in California.

Research chemist Wallace Yokoyama and postdoctoral nutritionist Hyunsook Kim want to develop new and tasty whole-grain oat or barley breads that offer antioxidants, fiber, and other components in an array different from that found in today's whole-wheat breads. The researchers work at the ARS Western Regional Research Center in Albany, Calif.

In preliminary experiments, Yokoyama, Kim and their colleagues made experimental all-oat or all-barley breads, as well as whole-wheat breads, using a commercially available, plant-derived carbohydrate known as HPMC (short for hydroxypropyl methylcellulose). They are interested in HPMC as a substitute for gluten.

Gluten traps the airy bubbles formed by yeast, lifting doughs to form high, attractive, nicely textured loaves. But HPMC can perform that essential biochemical chore, too. That was shown many years ago in research with rice flour, conducted by now-retired Albany scientist Maura M. Bean.

Yokoyama and Kim determined that barley, oat, and whole-wheat breads made with HPMC had cholesterol-lowering effects. They found this in tests with laboratory hamsters that were fed a high-fat diet and the experimental breads.

The HPMC that the scientists are investigating is derived from a plant source proprietary to manufacturer Dow Wolff Cellulosics of Midland, Mich. Though this HPMC is widely used in familiar foods—as a thickener, for instance—its cholesterol-lowering properties as an ingredient in whole-grain breads haven’t been widely studied, Yokoyama reported.

Read more about this research in the February 2010 issue of Agricultural Research magazine.

ARS is the principal intramural scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Last Modified: 8/27/2012