Developing High-Quality Gluten-Free Products with Analytical Solutions

Celiac-suffering patients deserve the best gluten-free products. CHOPIN Technologies’ solutions supply the tools to help understand and master the specific rheology of the gluten-free dough better.

The Importance of Gluten-Free Products

Around 2% of the world population suffers from Celiac disease. Inflammation of the villi of the small intestine is caused by this intolerance to a specific part of the gluten (the gliadins). This gluten intolerance is very restrictive and the only treatment is to apply a life-long strict diet once it has been diagnosed, avoiding any presence of gluten in food.

There is a requirement to develop different types of products (pizza, pasta, bread, biscuits, pastries, etc.) without using gluten-containing cereal such as rye, wheat, triticale, barley, Kamut or spelled. The development of gluten-free products enables celiac patients to enjoy diverse eating experiences while helping them avoid gluten-containing food.

Most of the conventional formulas and processes need re-inventing to produce gluten-free products. This is because of the unique ability of gluten to create a protein network, giving the dough its rheological behavior and resulting in the structure and shelf life of the final product.

Technical Aspects of Gluten-Free Production

The use of ‘new’ raw materials: buckwheat, rice, quinoa, corn, and other non-gluten containing flours are the base of the formulae. The use of hydrocolloids: some external protein sources (egg, soybean, etc.) and different gums (CMC, carrageenan, HPMC, etc.) are utilized to replace the gluten functionalities.

It is necessary to work on very hydrated dough: optimum water levels are vital for the quality of gluten-free products. In the majority of instances, the gluten-free dough is more hydrated than conventional dough, resulting in a complete change in its rheology.

The baking phase must be well mastered as it is crucial. The texture, flavor, and shelf life are all affected during baking, and all gluten-free products aspire to reach the standards corresponding to the quality of the conventional gluten-containing product.

Challenges

It is necessary for every professional aiming to produce an attractive gluten-free product to have a deep knowledge of the parameters affecting the quality of the end-product. When it comes to conventional cereal products, the final results depend on the mastering of the formula and the process.

This relationship between formula and process is much more complex for a gluten-free product, which leads producers to:

  • Set the correct water level and work with the highly hydrated dough
  • Maintain or enhance nutritional values
  • Know the rheological properties of non-gluten cereal and other raw material
  • Be able to adapt the formula depending on the quality of the raw material at hand
  • Replace the unique capability of gluten to develop a protein network
  • Choose the most efficient ingredients and additives (hydrocolloids)
  • Find the best formula available that enables products to have a long shelf life
  • Keep the gas bubbles evenly distributed in a low-viscosity dough
  • Avoid coalescence and disproportion of bubbles during baking
  • Master the dough behavior mainly based on starch properties
  • Enhance flavor by using sourdough
  • Understand starch behavior during baking

MIXOLAB 2 and RHEO F4

These are two analytical tools from CHOPIN Technologies’ solutions that are specifically adapted to help R&D and QC teams create the right formula to ensure production consistency. They enable users to control dough mixing properties, proofing, and baking behavior efficiently.

Master Mixing and Baking Behavior

Developing High-Quality Gluten-Free Products with Analytical Solutions

During mixing and baking, the CHOPIN MIXOLAB 2 can measure the rheological behavior of a complete gluten-free dough, which enables the selection of the best raw materials and ingredients.

The Mixolab 2 measures the consistency of the dough submitted to the dual constraint of constant mixing and temperature changes (heating/cooling cycle). Thanks to the versatility of the unit, any type of dough or formulation can be analyzed. The test protocol can be customized to any users’ requirements.

The first part of the curve, constant temperature, supplies information about the dough rheology (consistency, water level, stability, etc.).

The second part of the curve, heating/cooling, supplies vital information regarding starch gelatinization and retrogradation (product shelf life), enabling users to gather information in complex formulations, that mirrors the exact behavior of the dough on the processing lines.

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Optimize Proofing Performance

The CHOPIN RHEO F4 helps with the selection of the correct mixer settings to optimize proofing, the optimization of the proofing conditions, and to make sure that the desired volume and crumb structure is produced.

The Rheo F4 constantly measures the pressure in a sealed temperature-controlled tank in which the dough is placed. The device provides information about the total gas production (yeast activity) during the “direct circuit” cycle.

It measures the retention of gas, or the porosity of the dough, during the “indirect circuit” cycle. A sensor above the dough signals its development and stability to establish the optimal time for placing the dough in the oven.

Developing High-Quality Gluten-Free Products with Analytical Solutions

Results of the dough development curve:

  • T1: Time necessary to reach the maximum development, in relation to the yeast activity and dough rheology.
  • T2 – T’2: Time relative to the dough stability around Hm, correlates with the dough tolerance to proofing and the optimal time for putting the dough in the oven.
  • Hm: maximum dough development correlated with the bread volume.

Results of the gas production/retention curve:

  • H’m: Maximum height of the gas production curve.
  • Tx: The moment when the dough starts to lose CO2 produced by yeast.
  • T1: The time to reach H’m.
  • Total volume: Total gas production by yeast.
  • Retention volume: The volume of carbon dioxide still retained by the dough at the end of the test (A1).
  • Lost CO2 volume: Volume of carbon dioxide that the dough allows escaping during proofing (A2).

MIXOLAB 2 Application Examples

The CHOPIN MIXOLAB 2 enables gluten-free producers to optimize the formulation and anticipate the final product quality by measuring dough behavior during mixing, heating and cooling.

Selection of the Raw Material

It is vital to completely screen the behavior of all raw materials during mixing, heating, and cooling as they all perform differently.

Adjustment of the Correct Water Level for Mixing and Baking

When developing gluten-free baked goods, dough hydration is vital. This example shows that when variable amounts of water were added to rice flour completely different dough consistency profiles were gathered.

Addition of water affects the protein-mixing behavior greatly but is also noticeable during the heating/cooling process by impacting on starch gelatinization, gel stability, and the setback.

Development of New Formulae

It has been demonstrated that HPMC (hydroxypropylmethylcellulose) acts as a good gluten substitute in a rice bread formula because of its gas-retention capability and as a crumb-structuring agent. The consistency and rheological properties of rice dough closely resemble that of wheat dough upon the addition of HPMC.

The graph above shows that the level of hydrocolloid added (2%, 4%, 6% and 8%) has a significant influence on the thermo-mechanical profile of gluten-free flours.

The Anticipation of Final Product Properties

A combination of multiple processing aids and ingredients have been tested on rice flour. With the addition of these components, a synergistic effect was seen, acquiring a high increase in dough consistency during mixing, which permitted the water addition to be increased to 110%.

The formula includes rice flour as a basis in this instance, 1% transglutaminase, 13% soybean protein, and 4% HPMC. It is possible to produce acceptable gluten-free, rice-based bread with higher nutritional value using this combination because of its higher protein content.

The Mixolab 2 is Included in a US-patent

The technique for the production of maize proteins and its use of said proteins for the production of gluten-free bakery products and pasta US patent US2012 0027890 A1.

Application Examples with the RHEO F4

The CHOPIN RHEO F4 measures gas retention, gas production, and dough development which is information that is crucial to mastering the final crumb density and volume.

Choosing the Raw Material

The selection of the raw material is crucial in relation to the final product quality. The graph above shows the comparison of the granulation effect for two different maize (corn) products on dough development vs. time.

Results exhibit that the sample gathered from yellow maize flour does not show a strong potential for dough development, yet flour gathered from semolina does. In both instances, it can be noted that the particle size influences the potential of the dough rising to an optimal level. This will have a huge influence on the final product volume.

Measure the Effect of the Water Level on Proofing

The water level influences the potential of the dough in order to develop during proofing. The dough development curve below shows that water level and particle size affect the volume of the final product.

Adaptation of the Mixer Type and of the Mixing Time

Two-minute (straight gray line), four-minute (straight black line) and eight-minute (broken gray line) mixing.

Two-minute (straight gray line), four-minute (straight black line), and eight-minute (broken gray line) mixing.

The graphs above show the gas production of the same dough mixed using different conditions.

  • Wire whip enabled the dough to reach better volumes than a flat beater for the same mixing time
  • Longer mixing results in a better bread specific volume

The Rheo F4 helps to optimize the mixing conditions leading to a better bread volume.

The Anticipation of Final Product Properties

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As it directly impacts the consumer’s appeal to the product, the final volume is a vital parameter to control. Based on the Rheo F4 data, studies show that a good estimation of the following bread properties could be reached:

  • Bread springiness
  • Bread resilience
  • Bread hardness
  • Bread cohesiveness
  • Bread specific volume (the volume for 1 gram of bread)

References and Further Reading

  • Marco C., and Rosell C. M., 2008, Breadmaking performance of protein enriched gluten-free breads. Eur. Food. Tes. Technol. 227:1205-1213.
  • Rosell C.M., and Marco C., 2007, Different strategies for optimizing rice based bread: ingredients, structuring agents and breadmaking process. Pages 155-158 in: Proc. RACI Cereal Chemistry Conf.
  • De la Hera E., Talegon M., Caballero P., Gomez M., influence of maize flour particle size on gluten-free breadmaking, 2013, J Sci Food Agric; 93: 924-932.
  • Gomez M., Talegon P., De la Hera E., influence of mixing on quality of gluten-free bread, 2013, Journal of food quality, 36:139-145.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by CHOPIN Technologies.

For more information on this source, please visit CHOPIN Technologies.

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