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ARS Home » Plains Area » Manhattan, Kansas » Center for Grain and Animal Health Research » Grain Quality and Structure Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #188006


item Akdogan, Hulya
item Tilley, Michael - Mike
item Chung, Okkyung

Submitted to: Cereal Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/9/2006
Publication Date: 11/1/2006
Citation: Akdogan, H.P., Tilley, M., Chung, O.K. 2006. Effect of emulsifiers on textural properties of whole wheat tortillas during storage. Cereal Chemistry. 83(6): 632-635.

Interpretive Summary: Good quality tortillas should stay flexible and rollable without cracking and breaking when folded, and soft without sticking together. These are some of the criteria which consumers use to judge overall tortilla quality. Staling in tortillas is undesirable as it leads to unrollable, firm, cracked, and less stretchable tortillas. Retention of fresh tortilla properties, hence, extension of shelf-life, can be improved through the addition of ingredients. When added to the tortilla recipe in small amounts, a group of ingredients called emulsifiers may impart anti-staling characteristics. Among all three emulsifiers studied (Lecithin, GMS, and SSL), lecithin added at 2% of the flour weight and GMS added at 1% of the flour weight were the most effective at improving softness and foldability of tortillas made from 100% whole wheat. Tortillas that did not contain any emulsifiers staled faster than ones with the emulsifier added.

Technical Abstract: All three emulsifiers tested (SSL, GMS, de-oiled lecithin) impacted the textural quality of 100% WW tortillas during storage. However, the amount of emulsifier incorporated into the formulation was crucial. SSL was more effective at its lowest usage level (0.125%), unlike the de-oiled lecithin, which was most effective at its highest usage level (2%). The diameters of tortillas with mid (0.25%) and high (0.50%) levels of added SSL were significantly smaller than the rest of the tortillas. Rollability scores and Fr of tortillas were improved with emulsifier addition. Control tortillas consistently resulted in higher Fr values as well as lowest rollability scores at the end of full storage. None of the emulsifiers studied enhanced the stretchability of tortillas, as it abruptly declined during the first two days of storage. Type and level of emulsifier addition to tortillas should be determined carefully as it influences textural properties besides shelf life.