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The role of gluten in a pound cake system: A model approach based on gluten-starch blends

Wilderjans, Edith, Pareyt, Bram, Goesaert, Hans, Brijs, Kristof, Delcour, Jan A.
Food chemistry 2008 v.110 no.4 pp. 909-915
gluten, cakes, model food systems, starch, baking, baking quality, viscosity, batters, volume, texture, sensory properties
In order to evaluate the role of gluten in cake-making, gluten-starch (GS) blends with different ratios of gluten to starch were tested in a research pound cake formula. The viscosities of batters made from commercial GS blends in the otherwise standardised formula increased with their gluten content. High viscosities during heating provide the batters with the capacity to retain expanding air nuclei, and thereby led to desired product volumes. In line with the above, increasing gluten levels in the cake recipes led to a more extended oven spring period. Cakes with a starch content exceeding 92.5% in the GS blend suffered from substantial collapse during cooling. They had a coarse crumb with a solid gummy layer at the bottom. Image analysis showed statistical differences in numbers of cells per cm², cell to total area ratio and mean cell area (p <0.05). Both density and mean cell area were related to gluten level. Moreover, mean cell area and cell to total area ratio were the highest for cakes with the lowest density and highest gluten levels. Relative sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS, 2.0%) buffer (pH 6.8) extractabilities of protein from cakes baked with the different GS blends decreased with gluten content and were strongly correlated with the intensity of collapse. Taken together, the results teach that protein gives the cakes resistance to collapse, resulting in desirable volumes and an optimal grain structure with uniform cell distribution.