Carob germ proteins have been shown to have functional properties similar to wheat gluten enabling formulation and production of yeast leavened gluten-free baked goods from a true dough rather than a stiff batter. The purpose of this research was to optimize the production of wheat-free bread containing carob germ flour, corn starch, NaCl, sucrose, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC), and H₂O. A key criterion was to formulate viscoelastic dough similar to wheat dough. To that end, response surface methodology (RSM) was used to determine optimal levels of carob germ flour, H₂O, and HPMC. Components varied as follows: 4.94%-15.05% for carob germ flour, 0.05%-3.75% HPMC, and 65.25%-83.75% H₂O (percents are on a flour basis, where carob germ flour in combination with maize starch equals 100%). Sucrose, NaCl, and yeast were held constant at 2%. Bread parameters evaluated were specific volume and crumb hardness, where the largest specific volume and the lowest value for crumb hardness were considered most desirable. The optimum formula as determined by RSM consisted of 7% carob germ flour, 93% maize starch, 2% HPMC, and 80% H₂O with predicted crumb hardness of ~200 g of force and a specific volume of ~3.5 cm³/g. When proof time was optimized, a specific volume of ~5.6 ml/g and crumb hardness value of ~156 g of force was observed. Carob germ flour may be used as an alternative to wheat flour in formulating viscoelastic dough and high quality gluten-free bread.
Celiac disease affects approximately 1% of the world's population. Sufferers of the disease must consume a gluten-free diet. Currently, gluten-free baked products are made from batters and lack the ability to be made from dough based systems which limits the overall processability and product variety. This research is aimed at the utilization of carob germ protein and its ability to form dough to produce an optimal gluten-free bread formulation. This will help to alleviate problems in processability and product variety associated with gluten-free baked goods.