This investigation is aimed at developing a new cereal-based product, with increased nutritional quality, by using Bifidobacterium pseudocatenulatum ATCC 27919 as starter in whole wheat sourdough fermentation and evaluating its performance. Four different sourdough levels (5%, 10%, 15%, and 20% on flour basis) in bread dough formulation were analysed. The effects of the use of bifidobacteria in sourdough bread were comparatively evaluated with controls (yeast and/or chemically acidified sourdough with antibiotics). The sourdough and dough fermentative parameters analysed were pH, total titratable acidity, d/l-lactic and acetic acids. Bread performance was evaluated by specific volume, slice shape, crumb structure and firmness, crust and crumb colour, pH, total titratable acidity, and d/l-lactic and acetic acids, phytate, and lower myo-inositol phosphate contents. The sourdough breads showed similar technological quality to the control sample, with the exception of specific bread volume (decreased from 2. 46 to 2. 22 mL/g) and crumb firmness (increased from 2. 61 to 3. 18 N). Sourdough inoculated with bifidobacteria significantly increased the levels of organic acids in fermented dough and bread. The Bifidobacterium strain contributed to the fermentation process, increasing phytate hydrolysis during fermentation owing to the activation of endogenous cereal phytase and its own phytase, resulting in bread with significantly lower phytate levels (from 7. 62 to 1. 45 μmol/g of bread in dry matter). The inclusion of sourdough inoculated with bifidobacteria made possible the formulation of whole wheat bread with positive changes in starch thermal properties and a delay and decrease in amylopectin retrogradation. © 2011 Springer Science + Business Media, LLC.
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