Study develops recipe combining chickpea flour and psyllium for gluten-free bread

(Credit: Vanessa Dias Capriles).

Jul 23, 2021 — A recipe combining chickpea flour and psyllium, a soluble fiber of plant origin, was developed by the Federal University of São Paulo, Brazil. A nutritionist from the university is continuing a line of study that focuses on improving gluten-free products in the country.

“We managed to produce bread with 17 percent psyllium. Because it absorbs water, the paste made with psyllium can be molded into many shapes, just like rolls and breads made with conventional wheat flour, ”says Vanessa Dias Capriles, professor in the university’s biosciences department.

Psyllium is a fibrous material made from seed husks of the Plantago ovata plant. It has been used to increase fiber content because it is hygroscopic and expands to form a gelatinous mass when mixed with water.

“In more recent studies, we have associated psyllium with chickpea flour and achieved surprisingly good results. Besides high acceptability and nutritional value, its benefits include a low glycemic response [it does not raise blood sugar significantly] and increased satiety in healthy people, ”adds Capriles.

“Another fascinating point is that it maintained its acceptability even after being stored at room temperature for seven days.”

Psyllium is a popular choice among consumers looking for functional meals, and is frequently recommended for constipation, diabetes and atherosclerosis.

The São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) sponsors Capriles research through grants for young researchers and multi-user equipment. So far, 14 articles have been published in scientific journals as a result of the research. The most recent review is published in Foods.

The need for gluten-free
Gluten is a protein complex found in wheat, rye and barley grains. It gives the dough its elastic structure, allowing breads and rolls to be baked in various shapes while remaining supple and crisp. Combined with preservatives, it also prolongs the shelf life of bread at room temperature.Click to enlargePsyllium is an important ingredient in functional foods, and it is regularly recommended for constipation, diabetes and atherosclerosis.

Gluten intolerance has spread around the world and gluten-free products are increasingly popular. The problem is that most of the gluten-free products on the market do not meet consumers’ expectations in terms of appearance, aroma, flavor and durability.

Three conditions are currently recognized as reasons for prescribing a gluten-free diet: “celiac disease, wheat allergy, and non-celiac gluten sensitivity,” explains Capriles.

Celiac disease is a chronic, genetic dysfunction that affects 1.4% of the world’s population and can lead to multisystem disorders, with serious complications when left untreated, explains Capriles.

“Wheat allergy is an immune reaction to proteins in wheat. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity is a condition that can be caused by gluten or other components of wheat such as rapidly fermentable carbohydrates, ”she continues.

Non-celiac gluten sensitivity, although exhibiting symptoms similar to those of celiac disease, does not cause serious complications.

Psyllium potential
Industry players added psyllium in their food and drink products.

In this space, the Nutritude range of Super Flours is made with plants, plants and legumes that can help improve Nutri-score ratings. One of its ranges consists of wheat bran and psyllium fiber for comfort, in the health and well-being trend.

Meanwhile, JRS Food Ingredients offers various dietary fibers, such as organic apple fiber, natural psyllium, and bamboo fiber, which combine distinct functional performance with nutritional benefits, making them suitable for gluten-free products.

Bellway, a US-based natural fiber company, has released soluble fiber suitable for keto, paleo, and gluten-free diets that contain psyllium.

Psyllium is known for its potential to boost immunity, clearer skin and a better mood by supporting healthy bacteria in the gut.

By Nicole Kerr

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