Healthier Bread Possible Thanks to Teff, Claim Researchers

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27 Jul 2016 --- A team of researchers from School of Agricultural, Food and Biosystems Engineering at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) has carried out a research on two varieties of teff (red and white) to assess the possible differences in the bread-making quality of wheat on each variety. 

Results show that there are significant differences between them at both nutritional level and functional level and different protocols are established to produce quality breads when the mixture contains teff.

Teff is a native cereal of Ethiopia with increasing interest in Europe due to its high nutritional value and the interest of the food industry in the development of products of high quality. Besides, teff is an interesting ingredient for people with celiac disease since it is gluten free.

The regular consumption of teff in Ethiopia is in a flatbread (called injera) made from soft dough subjected to fermentation of several days. Thus, it is essential to adapt the production processes to obtain products more oriented to the European consumer.

The study carried out by researchers from the group of Plant Genetics Improvement at UPM aimed to assess the bread-making quality of wheat in order to develop new products of mixtures with wheat flour of different bread quality. Thus, two varieties of teff (red and white) were used to study the rheological properties of the teff mixtures and the types of wheat flour (strong and weak).

Besides, the mixtures were subjected to a protocol of experimental breadmaking and the resulting breads were used to establish the main bread quality parameters: volume and density crumb structure and analysis of the alveolar structure.

Results show that there are differences between the two varieties of teff in protein content, iron and zinc as well as in the quality of the resulting breads. Specifically, the differences are related to their alveolar structure (number and diameter of the alveoli). The red teff reached a high concentration of iron and zinc (358.1 mg/kg y 39.3mg/kg respectively).

Click to EnlargeIn addition, results highlight the need of searching for alternative protocols to obtain quality breads when they are baked with mixtures that contain teff. María Jesús Callejo, a researcher of this project, said: “due to the specific starch properties of teff, the temperature patterns must be modified during the bake to ensure the right starch gelatinization and a proper development of the crumb. Another alternative could be the thermal treatment of flour before adding it to the dough.”

The image shows cross-section images of the breads made from the different flour mixtures. A) 100 – weak wheat flour- ; B) 85/15-weak wheat flour/white teff-; C) 70/30 – weak wheat flour/white teff-; D) 85/15-weak wheat flour/red teff-; E) 70/30 – weak wheat flour/red teff-; F) 100 –strong wheat flour-; G) 85/15 – strong wheat flour/ white teff-; H) 70/30 – strong wheat flour/ white teff-; I) 85/15 – strong wheat flour/red teff-; J) 70/30 – strong wheat flour/red teff-.

Reference: CALLEJO, M.J.; BENAVENTE, E.; EZPELETA, J.I.; LAGUNA, M.J.; CARRILLO, J.M.; RODRÍGUEZ-QUIJANO, M. “Influence of teff variety and wheat flour strength on breadmaking properties of healthier teff-based breads”. Journal of Cereal Science 68: 38-45. DOI: 10.1016/j.jcs.2015.11.005. March 2016.

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