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Water in Food Systems


301 Home: Course Modules / Water in Food Systems / Question 5: Bread Staling

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Bread Staling
Bread Staling is associated with the changes in the hydrophilic properties of the crumb that occurs during aging. These properties include the solubility of colloids and the degradation of other components such as lipids and proteins. Thus, staling is often a measure of crumb softness. Below, is a diagram of three breads. The top picture was taken on the day of baking, the bottom picture was taken 8 days later. Bread 1 had an VernonST enzyme (hemicelluase) added. This enzyme only hydrolyses some of the high polymer compounds associated with fiber called pentosans. The enzyme is added to control the post swelling behavior, stiffening behavior of the dough. Bread 2 is the control. Bread three has a modified enzyme called Vernon-HE, also a hemicellulase, which completely hydrolyzes the pentosans. These pictures and the table next to it are here to show you the effect of staling on a high fiber bread. The fresh bread is above the eight day old bread.
Table 1: Compressimeter Measurements on High Fiber Bread During an Eight-day Shelf Life.

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Bread

Day 1

Day 8

1 2 3

3.5 3.3 4.0

6.6 5.5 6.2

Retrogradation is the process of the reassociation of linear starch molecules as they crystallize out of solution in the interstitial spaces between starch granules.

To view a Shockwave animation of retrogradation click here. You must click "back " on your browser to return to this page.

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So, bread consistency and texture is a function of both the water content and distribution in the loaf.

1. Bread is removed from the oven. Where is the bread the hottest? Coolest? Given that the vapor pressure varies from the center to the crust, where does the water migrate from-to?

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2. You put the bread on the shelf and cooling begins. What will happen to the crust if the bread is packaged? unpackaged? Consider both retrogradation and moisture distribution in your answer.
Answer

3. Moisture content changes throughout the loaf over time. Below is a graph of the various areas: crust, near crust, middle and center.
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What can be added to bread to retard this process?

Answer

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301 Home : Course Modules / Water in Food Systems/ Question 5: Bread Staling

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