The effect of Ultragrain white whole wheat flour in sugar cookies.

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1 The effect of Ultragrain white whole wheat flour on sugar cookies. Amanda Cummings F & N 453 Food Chemistry Dr. Daniel November 20, 2005

2 The effect of Ultragrain white whole wheat flour in sugar cookies. Abstract The importance of dietary fiber for optimum health is a well-known fact. Adequate dietary fiber can reduce the risk of cancers, heart disease, and gastrointestinal disease. Although, there is a wealth of information supporting these facts, dietary fiber among Americans continues to be below national recommendations. Fiber can be found in various foods such as fruits and vegetables, but is very abundant in whole grains. Grains are at the very top of dietary recommendations in terms of amounts of a particular food group. So why don t Americans consumer adequate fiber? This is primarily due to the fact that the grains source for most Americans is refined white flour, not a whole grain variety. Many people avoid eating foods prepared with whole grains because of the flavor and textural differences that the whole grain imparts on the food. When given a choice most people would rather eat white flour, which in some opinions tastes better, than whole grain flour which has greater health benefits, but inferior taste. It would seem that a logical solution to this problem is to produce a healthy whole grain flour which offers the plethora of health benefits, while still maintaining the good flavor of refined flour. ConAgra foods is attempting just that with Ultragrain flour. A new milling process invented by ConAgra attempts to produce a whole wheat flour which exhibits similar characteristics as white flour. Ultragrain is supposedly a substitute for white flour, yet imparts few of the flavor/texture differences shown in whole grain wheat flour. The following experiment evaluates the Ultragrain flour as used in sugar cookies. Two trials in which Ultragrain flour was substituted gram-for-gram of allpurpose flour were conducted. These samples were evaluated using texture analysis, water activity, and hedonic rating. Results of this experiment suggest that Ultragrain flour is not equal to all-purpose flour in regards to texture or hedonic rating when used in sugar cookies. Introduction Fiber is an essential part of a healthful diet. The importance of dietary fiber is such that the USDA Dietary Guidelines address fiber intake specifically (Putnam 2002). The recommendation is around 25-30g of dietary fiber per day. This is not a superfluous guideline as research has shown that adequate dietary fiber plays an integral role in the prevention of many diseases. Studies have linked fiber intake to decreases in diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers (Slavin 2000, Montonen 2003). Cummings 2

3 Although the DG recommendation is at least 25-30g per day, USDA s Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals reports that most Americans do not consume adequate dietary fiber (Putnam 2002). Dietary fiber is found in a variety of fruits, vegetables, and legumes; however one of the most plentiful and excellent sources is whole grain varieties of flour products. In 2000, Americans consumed an estimated 200 pounds (per capita) of flour and cereal products (Putnam 2002). That is approximately 10.6 servings per day servings per capita. This does fulfill the Dietary Guidelines recommendation for grain products. Nevertheless, the majority of grains consumed are of refined, white flour origin. The USDA s Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals reported that over 60% of the population consumed less that one serving of whole grains per day in 1996 (Putnam 2002). Thus, the grain products most consumed are nearly devoid of the fiber, vitamins, and minerals naturally present in wheat. With all the data indicating the many health benefits of consuming high fiber grains, it seems absurd that most Americans consume less than one serving of whole grains per day. Many people have the opinion that whole grains have inferior taste and palatability (Kihlberg 2004). In general, consumers don t like to sacrifice taste for nutritional quality. ConAgra has recently developed a product that promises the best of both worlds. Ultragrain White Whole Wheat flour supposedly offers all of the health benefits of whole grain flour while maintaining the taste and palatability of white flour. In this experiment, the objective was to evaluate the differences in Ultragrain flour and all-purpose flour when used in sugar cookies. The independent variable was flour type. In each trial, one batch was made with all-purpose flour, and one with Ultragrain. Characteristics of the two were then compared. To evaluate the effect of substitution of Ultragrain flour for all-purpose in the cookies, the samples were analyzed for hedonic rating, texture, and water activity (dependent variables). Cummings 3

4 Methods Ultragrain flour (with approximate composition per 100 g: 13.7 g protein; 72.6 g carbohydrate, of which 12.2 was dietary fiber; 1.9 g and energy value of 339 kilocalories according to product specifications) was obtained from ConAgra Foods, Incorporated. On arrival, the Ultragrain flour was stored in a double plastic bag bound with packing string at ambient temperature (~23C). Other ingredients were purchased at a local grocery store. Sugar cookies were prepared according to the formulas in Table 1. Table 1. Cookie Formulas Ingredients All-Purpose Cookie Ultragrain Cookie Flour (g) Butter (g) Granulated Sugar (g) Whole Milk (ml) 8 8 Blended Whole egg, large (g) Salt (g) Baking Soda (g) Baking Powder, S.A.S (g) 1 1 Vanilla (ml) Cinnamon (g) Nutmeg (g) To prepare the cookie doughs, dry ingredients were first combined by gentle manual mixing. Fat, vanilla, and sugar were then creamed together in a bowl. The egg and milk were slowly incorporated into the fat/sugar mixture until mixed well. Blended dry ingredients were then added to this wet mixture and incorporated with a Sunbeam hand mixer until well blended into a stiff dough. Each dough variety was divided into 20-g portions using an electronic scale. Each portion of dough was formed into a ball and then rolled to a uniform height using a rolling pin and ½ pastry flats. Cookies were then placed on ungreased metal baking sheets ~2 apart. Each sheet held eight cookies. The trays were placed in the same location and orientation in the oven for each batch. The two variations were baked at 200C for 7 minutes in a consumer-style oven. After baking, cookies were lifted from baking sheets and place on wire racks to cool at an ambient temperature (23C) for ~15 minutes. This procedure was replicated for two different trials. After cooling, each cookie was sliced into 8 equal pie slices for evaluation. This method of dividing the cookies was used to ensure that each sample of cookie used for sensory evaluation would contain equal amounts of edge and center cookie portions. One cookie from each batch was reserved for texture analysis and water activity readings. The sensory panel sampled a 1/8 cookie portion of one cookie variable, rinsed with water, recorded the evaluation, then sampled the other variable. Each variable was labeled with a random 3-digit number. Cummings 4

5 Objective Evaluation: One cookie from each trial was objectively evaluated using a texture analyzer and a water activity machine. See Table 2 for Texture analyzer settings. Table 2. Texture Analyzer Settings Subjective Evaluation: Cookies from each trial were evaluated by a sensory panel using a hedonic scale (see Table 3). Sensory panel consisted of 12 random professors and students in Stone Hall on the day so of evaluation. The color of cookies was also noted for each flour type. Table 3. Hedonic Scale SAMPLE 1.Dislike very # much 2.Dislike 3.Neither 4.Like 5.Like very much Comments Cummings 5

6 Discussion With the general consumer preference of white flour over whole wheat, it is obvious that there are some differences among the two flour varieties (Kiehlberg 2004). The substitution of whole wheat flour for white flour will cause changes in texture, flavor, and color in most baked products. In baked products we tend to prefer a light, fluffy product. Gluten is a key player in the development of these characteristics. Whole wheat flour, which includes the bran, germ, and endosperm interferes with gluten development (Wheat 2005). The bran of a whole wheat flour variety interferes with the interaction of glutenin and gliadin, the protein constituents of gluten formation. It is this protein framework in baked products which traps air produced by leavening agents to produce a light, airy product. This is the reason that products made with a whole wheat flour variety are typically heavier and less voluminous than a white flour product counterpart. The darker color that can be observed in a whole wheat baked product is a result of the brownish color of bran particles (Christiansen 2000). ConAgra has developed a unique milling process to eliminate the undesirable textural differences of whole wheat, while still maintaining the nutritional benefits. During this milling process the bran particles are ground into a much smaller, uniform shape. In theory, this shape/size would reduce the likelihood that bran particles would interfere with gluten formation; thus changing textural properties of the product. The Ultragrain flour is a hard white wheat which has undergone this process. The results of this experiment support current literature that white flour products are preferred over whole wheat. This point is very well illustrated by Figure 1. The average hedonic rating for all-purpose flour cookies was 4.2 (4 = like, 5 = like very much) compared to only 2.7 (2 = dislike, 3 = neither like nor dislike) for the Ultragrain cookies. Panelists made comments that the Ultragrain flour left somewhat of an aftertaste. Evaluation of the two varieties of cookie with a texture analyzer indicated that the Ultragrain cookies were a more firm product. The average texture analyzer reading for an all-purpose cookie was 69.4 g compared to g with the Ultragrain cookies. As discussed previously this is a result of the bran present in the whole grain flour. The differences in texture analysis for trials two and three can be attributed to a slight difference in cooking time. Cookies of both variety in trial 3 were baked approximately 2 minutes longer than those in trial two. It should also be noted that regardless of baking time, the Ultragrain flour did produce a cookie that was at least 50% more firm than an all-purpose flour. Water activity did not differ considerably with the use of all-purpose and Ultragrain flours. As expected, the cookies made with Ultragrain flour were slightly darker in color than the all-purpose cookies. This color difference was most obvious with the uncooked doughs. The Ultragrain dough was slightly darker, and also slightly more firm. The results as summarized in Table 4 suggest that Ultragrain White Whole Wheat flour does not exhibit the same baking characteristics as white all-purpose flour. This experiment did elicit results that support literature regarding the substitution of whole grain flour for white flour in baked products (Bruckner 2001). Cummings 6

7 However, since Ultragrain is a unique product, it would be interesting to also compare Ultragrain to a traditionally milled whole wheat variety. The Ultragrain product was developed to reduce the undesirable characteristic of whole wheat flour, so a comparison of another whole wheat flour in cookies would be a more accurate way to evaluate the efficacy of Ultragrain in eliminating those characteristics. To better evaluate the effectiveness of the unique milling process used in Ultragrain flour, it would also be helpful to experiment with products containing less fat than cookies. The high fat content, and low water content of cookies do not support gluten development, so this may not have been the best product choice to evaluate the differences in flour. A bread product might elicit a more drastic difference. Results Trial 2 Trial 3 Flour Type All-Purpose Ultragrain All-Purpose Ultragrain Hedonic Scale Texture Analyzer (g) Water Activity Table 4. Mean data for trials 2&3 Summary of Hedonic Rating for Ultragrain and All- Purpose Cookies Number of Panelists Like very Much Like very Much Neither Dislike Dislike Very Much AP UG Hedonic Rating Figure 1. Hedonic rating of two cookie varieties Cummings 7

8 Reference 1. Putnam, J., Allshouse, J., Kantor, L. U.S. per capita food supply trends: More calories, refined carbohydrates, and fats. FoodReview. 2002; 25(3): Slavin, J. Mechanisms for the impact of whole grain foods on cancer risk. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 2000; 19(3):300S-307S. 3. Montonen, J. Whole-grain fiber intake and the incidence of type 2 diabetes. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2003; 77: Kihlberg, I. Sensory qualities of whole wheat pan bread influence of farming system, milling, and baking technique. Journal of Cereal Science. 2004; 39: Food Chemistry: Principles and Applications, G. L. Christen and J. S. Smith (eds.), 2000, Science Technology System. 6. Wheat Nutrients. Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers. retrieved 11/1/ ConAgra Foods, Inc Bruckner P, Habernicht D, Carlson R, Wichman M, Tabert E. Comparative bread quality of white flour and whole grain flour for hard red spring and winter wheat. Crop Science. 2001; 41: Cummings 8

9 Appendix Trial 1 was completed using a recipe which included chocolate chips. Use of this protocol was discontinued because the chocolate chips were believed to be a confounding variable in evaluation of the flour. It was difficult to control the content of each cookie; and the chocolate chips effected texture analysis and water activity. From the sensory panel results, it seems that the chocolate chips may have prohibited the evaluation of cookie quality based on flour type because taste was overpowered by the presence of chocolate. See recipe for chocolate chip cookies and procedures below. Recipe (Nestle Toll House): All-purpose flour (or Ultragrain flour) c; g Baking soda t; 4.6g Salt t; 6g Butter c (1/2 lb, or 2 sticks); 227g White sugar c; 150g Brown sugar c; 165g Vanilla extract t; 4.75mL Eggs, large ; 66g Nestle Toll House Semi-sweet choc. Chips cups (12oz. pack); 336g PROCEDURE 1. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in bowl. 2. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla in large mixer bowl for 3 minutes. 3. Add eggs one at a time, beating for 30 seconds after each addition. 4. Add 1/3 of the flour, beat for 1 minute. Repeat until all flour is added. 5. Stir in chocolate chips 6. Drop by #8 scoop onto ungreased baking sheet 7. Bake in preheated 375-degree F oven for 10 minutes. 8. Let stand 2 minutes. 9. Transfer to wire rack to cool 10 minutes Cummings 9

10 Figure 1 appendix. Hedonic rating of chocolate chip cookies with Ultragrain and All-Purpose flour Hedonic Rating of Chocolate Chips with Ultragrain and All-Purpose Flours Number of Panelists Like Very Much Like Neither Dislike Dislike Very Much AP UG Hedonic Rating Table 1. Texture analysis of Ultragrain and All-purpose chocolate chip cookies Texture Analyzer (g) Allpurpose Ultragrain Cummings 10

11 Data: Trials 1,2,&3 Trial 2 Trial (AP) 523(UG) 416(AP) 523(UG) Texture Analyzer Texture Analyzer Water Activity Water Activity Trial 1 416(UG) 523(AP) Texture Analyzer Cummings 11

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