23 Jul 2021 --- A recipe combining chickpea flour and psyllium, a plant-derived soluble fiber, has been developed by the Federal University of São Paulo, Brazil. A nutritionist at the university is pursuing a study line that focuses on improving gluten-free products in the country.
“We succeeded in producing bread with 17 percent psyllium. Because it absorbs water, dough made with psyllium can be molded into many shapes, just like rolls and loaves made with conventional wheat flour,” says Vanessa Dias Capriles, a professor in the Department of Biosciences at the university.
Psyllium is a fibrous material made from husks of the seeds of the plant Plantago ovata. It was used to increase the fiber content as it is hygroscopic and expands to form a gelatinous mass when mixed with water.
“In more recent studies, we associated psyllium with chickpea flour and obtained surprisingly good results. Besides high acceptability and nutritiousness, its advantages include a low glycemic response [it does not raise blood sugar significantly] and heightened 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 it’s frequently recommended for constipation, diabetes and atherosclerosis.
The São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) sponsors Capriles research through Young Investigator and Multiuser Equipment grants. So far, 14 articles have been published in scientific journals as a result of the research. The most recent article is published in Foods .
The need for gluten-free
Gluten is a protein complex present in wheat, rye and barley cereals. It gives dough its elastic structure, allowing loaves and rolls to be baked into various forms while staying flexible and crusty. When combined with preservatives, it also extends the shelf life of bread at room temperature.
Click to Enlarge Psyllium is a prominent ingredient in functional foods, and it’s regularly advised for constipation, diabetes and atherosclerosis.
Gluten intolerance has spread globally, and gluten-free products are becoming increasingly popular. The issue is that most gluten-free products on the market fall short of consumers’ expectations in terms of appearance, aroma, flavor and durability.
Three conditions are currently recognized as grounds for prescribing a gluten-free diet: “celiac disease, wheat allergy, and non-celiac gluten sensitivity,” Capriles says.
Celiac disease is a chronic dysfunction of genetic origin that affects 1.4 percent of the world population and can lead to multisystem disorders, with severe complications when left untreated Capriles says.
“Wheat allergy is an immune reaction to the 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 having similar symptoms to celiac disease, does not cause severe complications.
Industry players have added psyllium into their food and beverage products.
In this space, the Nutritude range of Super Flours is manufactured with plants, botanicals, and pulses that can help enhance Nutri-score ratings. One of its lines consists of wheat bran and psyllium fiber for comfort , in the health and wellness trend.
Meanwhile, JRS Food Ingredients offers various dietary fibers , such as organic apple fiber, natural psyllium, and bamboo fiber, that combine distinct functional performance with nutritional benefits, making them suitable for gluten-free goods.
Bellway, a natural fiber company based in the US, released a soluble fiber appropriate for keto, paleo, and gluten-free diets that contain psyllium.
Psyllium is known for its potential to boost increased immunity, clearer skin, and a better mood by supporting healthy bacteria in the gut.
By Nicole Kerr