Location: Functional Foods ResearchTitle: Evaluation of gluten-free amaranth and navy bean flour blends on quality of sugar cookies
Submitted to: Journal of Food Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/13/2017
Publication Date: 11/7/2017
Citation: Liu, S.X., Chen, D., Xu, J. 2017. Evaluation of gluten-free amaranth and navy bean flour blends on quality of sugar cookies. Journal of Food Research. 6(6):63-73.
Interpretive Summary: Both pulses (dried beans and peas) and amaranth grains are underutilized food crops in spite of their unique nutritional and health benefits to human beings; none has been done to combine these two classes of food crops in food formulations in order to provide nutritionally complete, vegetarian, and allergen-free food products to certain segments of population, in light of the complementary nature of their respective essential amino acid profiles and other high quality nutritional constituents. The barriers to consumption are a few and the most important ones are the unfamiliarity with culinary uses of these food materials, particularly in the food industry of the western world and the perceived palatability issue associated with their distinctive flavors. This study attempted to examine the processability of the navy bean-amaranth flour blends in the industrial setting and characteristics of their baking products that consumers would expect. Both dough from various blends and baked cookies were studied, looking into several important characteristics such as viscosity, water holding, color, and texture. A sensory panel study was also conducted to assess the “real-world” acceptance of this line of baking products. It was found that the baked cookies using navy bean and amaranth blends are suitable for food manufacturing with shelf-stable food products that are comparable to wheat based similar products and acceptable to most participants in the sensory panel study.
Technical Abstract: Gluten free sugar cookies were made from amaranth (Salvia hispanica L.) and navy bean flours of different ratios. The physical properties of flour blends, dough, and cookies were evaluated. This study found that navy bean and its blends with amaranth had higher water holding capacities (WHC) compared to wheat flour. The increased WHC was observed as the amount of navy bean flours increased in blends. The amaranth flour had the highest water soluble index (WSI) and pasting viscosities. The WSI, pasting viscosities and rheological elastic properties of composites were improved by amaranth flour. Differences were also found in geometrical and textural properties of the doughs and cookies. The cookies made from flour blends have lower width and spread factors; however, they had higher thickness and volume resulting in higher yield compared to wheat flour. Overall, the cookies made by amaranth, navy bean, and their blends were rated “acceptable” in color, flavor, texture, and overall acceptability in the sensory study. The flavorings of vanilla, cinnamon, and almond extracts improved sensory scores of cookies made from blends, making them indistinguishable from cookies using wheat flour. This study suggested that the amaranth-navy bean blends could be good gluten-free candidates for functional food products.