Water holding capacity and viscosity of ingredients from oats : the effect of b-glucan and starch content, particle size, pH and temperature

University essay from Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för kemi och biomedicin (KOB)

Abstract: Oats is a crop that contains a high amount of fiber, protein and fat, but like all other crops it contains mostly starch. In this study the focus has been oat flours and brans with different b-glucan content. The health benefits of b-glucan, a soluble fiber are well documented and a correlation between intake of b-glucan with high molecular weight and a low glycemic response has been observed. Food with a low glycemic index can lower the risk for diseases like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and obesity. Also a connection between intake of b-glucan with high molecular weight and a reduction of LDL-cholesterol has been observed. b-glucans from oat absorb water and build a viscous gel, which make them an interesting component when developing new products, as a fat replacer in for example meat products and pastries. To optimize the use of flours and brans with a modified b-glucan content in new applications, the water absorption was measured with a method called Solvent Retention Capacity and the viscosity with a Rapid Viscosity Analyzer (RVA). The results showed that a higher amount of b-glucan in the flour or bran, a higher water holding capacity (WHC) was observed. The WHC for oat flour with a b-glucan content at 2% was calculated to 73±7%, while the WHC for oat bran with a b-glucan content at 28%, was calculated to a WHC of 880±45%. A comparison of different flours and brans indicates that dietary fiber, where b-glucan have the greatest impact on the WHC. The result from the RVA indicates that a flour with a combination of a high b-glucan content (0.24g) and high starch content (3.72g) leads to a high viscosity 12700 cP, compared to other flours or brans with either a lower b-glucan content (0.12g) or lower starch content (0.12g) gives lower final viscosity, 5390 and 780 cP. The result also indicates that other factors such as a smaller particle size and a higher temperature during the heating step (95°C instead of 64°C) might give a higher viscosity. 

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