The evidence that celiac disease is one of the commonest food intolerances in the world is driving an increasing demand for gluten-free foods. However, gluten is a structure-building protein essential for formulating leavened baked goods. Therefore, obtaining high-quality gluten-free bread (GFB) is a technological challenge. This review focuses on contemporary approaches in gluten-free baking that allow improvements at the structure, texture, acceptability, nutritive value, and shelf life of GFB. Gluten-free breadmaking is a relatively new, emerging research topic that is attracting worldwide attention in order to develop different kinds of GFB, including regional varieties. Several approaches have been used to understand and improve GFB systems by evaluating different flours and starch sources, ingredients added for nutritional purposes, additives, and technologies or a combination of these elements. Some studies aimed to assess or improve GFB's technological or nutritional properties, while others had multiple objectives. Several studies used food science tools in order to improve technological and sensory quality of GFB, together with nutritional value. Some GFBs are vehicles of nutrients and bioactive compounds. Furthermore, extensive research on interfacing food science, nutrition, and health is needed so that a GFB with both good technological and nutritional properties can be prepared and made more available to those with celiac disease, which will help them adhere to a strict gluten-free diet, increase social inclusion, and improve their quality of life.
Protein extrusion has frustrated earlier predictions regarding its impact in the development of food products. The main reason for this disappointing performance has been its failure to yield fabricated food products with textural quality close enough to that of natural products at competitive prices. Texturized soya protein by extrusion is presently the only commercial success in this area, being incorporated into several convenience products, increasing their protein content and quality and conferring them some desirable sensory properties. Technological and scientific gaps in the extrusion texturization are still to be bridged if this technique is to be applied for upgrading unconventional protein. The precise mechanisms responsible for protein texturization through extrusion are still unclear. Proteins show a very wide range of extrusion behavior that is probably related to large differences in their association properties. New peptide bonds, formed by free amino and carboxylic groups of the protein, were postulated as being responsible for the cross-linking that takes place in protein extrusion. However, disulfide bonds and electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions are regarded presently as the texturization mechanism in this process. The recently suggested suspension (or filled "melt") model for biopolymer extrusion offered a new framework for testing extrusion of novel proteins. According to this view, the large differences between the association properties of proteins produce different types of aggregates. Some of them can be insoluble under extrusion conditions and act as a dispersed phase within the melt phase. The extrusion performance of a protein will thus depend on the amount of insoluble aggregate produced inside the extruder and on protein-protein interactions that occur after the superheated molten mass leaves it.
The effect of adding increasing levels of prebiotic inulin-type fructans (ITFs) (0, 4, 8, 10 and 12%) on the sensory and nutritional quality of gluten-free bread (GFB) was assessed. ITFs can provide structure and gas retention during baking, thus improving GFB quality by yielding better specific volume, softer crumb, improved crust and crumb browning with enhanced sensory acceptance. During baking, approximately one-third of the ITFs was lost. The addition of 12% ITFs to the basic formulation is required in order to obtain GFB enriched with 8% ITFs (4 g of fructans per 50 g bread serving size), levels that can provide health benefits. 12% ITFs-addition level decreased GFB glycemic index (from 71 to 48) and glycemic load (from 12 to 8). Prebiotic ITFs are a promising improver for GFB that can provide nutritional (11% dietary fiber content, low glycemic response) and functional benefits to patients with celiac disease, since ITFs are prebiotic ingredients that can also increase calcium absorption.
Hypercholesterolemic hamsters were fed for 4 wk on diets rich in saturated fatty acids and cholesterol, differing only in protein source (20 %): casein (control group, HC), whole cowpea seed (HWS), and cowpea protein isolate (HPI). Hamsters fed on HWS and HPI presented significant reductions in plasma total cholesterol and non-HDL cholesterol. HPI and HC presented similar protein digestibility, which were significantly higher than that of HWS. Animals fed on HWS presented significantly higher levels of bile acids and cholesterol in feces than did the animals fed on casein or HPI diets. Histological analyses of the liver showed that HC diet resulted in steatosis widely distributed throughout the hepatic lobule, while HWS and HPI diets promoted reductions in liver steatosis. The effectiveness of HWS for modulating lipid metabolism was greater than that of HPI, as measured by plasma cholesterol reduction and liver steatosis.
Reduced bone mineral density (BMD) is frequently found in individuals with untreated celiac disease (CD), possibly due to calcium and vitamin D malabsorption, release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, and misbalanced bone remodeling. A gluten-free diet (GFD) promotes a rapid increase in BMD that leads to complete recovery of bone mineralization in children. Children may attain normal peak bone mass if the diagnosis is made and treatment is given before puberty, thereby preventing osteoporosis in later life. A GFD improves, but rarely normalizes, BMD in patients diagnosed with CD in adulthood. In some cases, nutritional supplementation may be necessary. More information on therapeutic alternatives is needed.
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