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TNO offers licensing opportunities and collaboration agreement providing the licensee global exclusive rights to use Reuteran to improve the quality of bread and overcome sodium reduction restrictions. While the average western consumer eats too much fat, salt and sugar, the consumption level of fibres is not sufficient. Addition of fibres to bread can give all kinds of problems with respect to processing, product quality and shelf life. As a result of that, when developing fibre-rich products, attributes like taste, texture, colour and the perceptibility of 'particles' have to be studied in much detail. TNO has developed a new food fibre Reuteran, which has a positive effect on the quality of bread and compensates the gluten strength which overcomes stickiness problems of the dough by sodium reduction.
Reuteran, named after the lactic-acid bacteria Lactobacillus reuterii, has a highly specific structure. Another important property is its ability to compensate gluten strength and to overcome stickiness problems of dough by sodium reduction. The present invention shows that the special structure of Reuteran acts synergistically to wheat gluten. Where most food fibres have a negative impact on bread making and quality, Reuteran has positive effects. It improves the volume of the bread and crumb softness and retains this softness better during storage.
Reuteran may be marketed as a new ingredient being a prebiotic fibre, which acts as a bread improver at the same time. However, with our Lactobacillus reuterii strain, a Reuteran enriched pre-ferment may be developed as a clean label bread improver. This may also be obtained by introducing this lactobacillus in a sourdough starter.
Results of TNO research show that this healthy ingredient has beneficial functional properties for application in bread and offers new opportunities to develop clean label bread improvers. Addition of Reuteran in ranges of 1-10% in white bread recipes resulted in higher bread volume compared to a reference without bread improvers. When stored for one week at 20°C, bread with Reuteran appeared to retard staling compared to a reference without additives. Moreover, crumb softness was even similar to reference bread with NovamylTM, amylase and glycerol mono stearate. DSC analysis showed that improved crumb softness was not a result of a reduced amylopectin recrystallization as is the case for NovamylTM. The anti-staling effects of Reuteran can be explained by its water holding properties or an effect on the bread micro structure. Lactobacillus reuterii can produce glucans and fructans during sucrose fermentation. The application of this lactobacillus or its membrane bound sucrases in e.g. sourdough or pre-ferments offer new opportunities to develop clean label bread improvers.
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