|Tilley, Michael - Mike|
Submitted to: Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/15/2006
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Once predominantly limited to Mexico and the Southwestern U.S., tortillas have become the most prevalent ethnic bread in the U.S., often replacing white pan bread in many products. As a result, tortillas are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. baking industry with annual sales over US$6 billion and growth exceeding 10% per year. The majority of tortillas consumed in the U.S. are made from wheat flour, although traditional maize tortillas are also produced. Sustaining this tremendous demand requires sufficient definition and determination of fundamental quality characteristics of wheat flour tortillas. Quality characteristics include visual and textural properties as well as shelf-life. Good quality tortillas should remain flexible without cracking and breaking when folded. One of the major challenges in tortilla quality is the deterioration of texture with time (staling). In instances where tortillas are freshly prepared and consumed, shelf-life is not an issue, however, in the U.S. retention of fresh properties is important since tortillas are packaged sealed in plastic bags and consumed over the course of several weeks. Tortilla quality is measured using both objective and subjective methods and is dependent upon flour properties as well as ingredient formulation. Tortilla quality parameters and current evaluation methods are discussed.