Consumers recognize the benefits of whole grain products. Only protein and fiber stand ahead of whole grains as the dietary components consumers are trying to consume on a regular basis, according to the International Food Information Council’s 2016 Food and Health Survey. Yet despite the positive perception, only a small percentage of the U.S. population consumes the daily recommended amount of whole grains.
The challenge is to bring more consumers more in line with the daily recommended amounts of whole grains they should consume. Taste is a barrier. Brian Strouts, vice-president of baking and food technical services at AIB International, Manhattan, Kas., addressed the issue of flavor during a presentation this past October during the International Baking Industry Exposition, held in Las Vegas.
“What’s fairly common in whole grain or multigrain is that you have to balance out what becomes a bitter or tannic flavor that comes with many of those whole grains,” he said.
Balancing out that bitterness may call for more sugar or a longer fermentation time. White wheat has a lesser impact on taste and color than red wheat, Mr. Strouts added.
Harold Ward, technical services representative for the Bay State Milling Co., Quincy, Mass., said wheat varieties play a role in whole grain flavor.
“In general, red wheat has a stronger, grainier flavor than white wheat, while white wheat tends to have a milder, sweeter flavor than red wheat,” he said. “Those are generalizations though as some red wheat can be milder flavored than others, while some white wheats can be stronger flavored than other white wheats.
“With wheat in mind, in my experience, sprouted wheat tends to have a sweeter flavor than its un-sprouted counterpart. With regard to alternative grains, spelt tends to have a mild, slightly sweet flavor while teff has been described as having a mild molasses-like flavor.”
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