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University of Reading - Articles and news items

Confectionery: Creating food structure out of thin air!

Issue 6 2013  •  2 January 2014  •  K. Niranjan, University of Reading

Bubbles are always perceived to represent the best in food and drink. Their presence and characteristics have dominated our perception of the quality of traditional products such as bread, champagne, ice creams and let’s not forget the good olde beers! In recent years, there has been a constant flow of new bubble-containing snack foods into our supermarkets; whipped cream, chocolate, wafers, cakes, meringues, extruded snacks and sparkling drinks, all of which have very novel structures and mouth-feels (Figure 1). Some products are perceived to offer lighter alternatives in terms of calories. Most products manage to gain a positive market image by highlighting bubbles, because bubbles tend to be associated with celebration and luxury…

Protein-polyphenol interactions

Issue 3 2006, Past issues  •  11 August 2006  •  Richard Frazier, Lecturer, School of Food Biosciences, University of Reading and Rebecca Green, Lecturer, School of Pharmacy, University of Reading

Evidence has been reported that dietary consumption of plants and plant products that are rich in tannins, such as cocoa, wine, tea and berries, can be related to protective effects against cardiovascular disease and certain forms of cancer.

These protective effects are assumed to stem from the antioxidant activity of tannins and their ability to act as free radical scavengers; free radicals being known to have damaging effects on cells and DNA in vivo. Polyphenols also possess a significant binding affinity for proteins, which can lead to the formation of soluble and/or insoluble complexes.

Adding to the mix

Issue 3 2005, Past issues  •  29 July 2005  •  Bogdan Dobraszczyk, Senior Research Fellow, School of Food Biosciences, University of Reading

Various ingredients have long been known to have a beneficial effect on baked loaf volume and texture. Ingredients such as fats and lipids, surfactants, oxidants and enzymes are frequently added to bread formulations to give improved product quality by giving better tolerance during processing; improving texture and volume; increasing shelf life or by minimising the natural variability in quality and the effects of different types of milling amongst different wheat flours. Combinations of these ingredients are sold to the baking industry as bread improvers.

 

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