Functional Foods

functionalfoods

In food science 205 fall semester 2012, we had to do a functional foods project.  It was by far the best lab of the year!!  I found the assignment a piece of cake (haha or a piece of bread you could say) simply because, well, ya know, everything I make is way more nutritionally functional than any other animal product laden recipe!!  I decided to use the vegan banana bread recipe my lovely mother had recently sent me.  Shoulda made some impressive living raw spirulina something I know right.. haha oh well.. Here was my write up:

TITLE: Development of banana bread for heart health

HYPOTHESIS: Replacement of flaxseed meal (ground flax seed) for flour variables will provide fatty acids associated with heart health with little to no impact to color, flavor, or customer acceptance of banana bread.

VARIABLES:

Control: Whole Wheat Banana Bread (1/3 C whole wheat flour + 1/3 C all purpose flour)
Variable 1: Replace whole-wheat flour with ground flax seed
Variable 2: Replace all-purpose flour with ground flax seed

OBJECTIVES:

 

In comparing the whole-wheat banana bread with banana bread with ground flax replacement for the different types of flour used, the taste and mouth feel will be evaluated.  Whether or not flaxseed meal can mimic the consistency and flavor of flour in this recipe will be determined.

  • To formulate a new banana bread with more omega 3 fatty acids
  • To mimic the consistency and mouth feel of control with replacement ingredients
  • To add a variety of phytonutrients with replacement ingredients
  • To evaluate mouth feel, flavor, and texture on a 9 point hedonic scale
  • To determine the similarity of the breads with a triangle test

MARKET ORDER:

 

Very Ripe Bananas (mashed)- 2 cups (16 ounces, 4 to 5 bananas)

Vegetable oil- ½ cups (3 ½ ounces)

Sugar- 1 cups (8 ounces)

ENER-G Egg Replacer- 3 teaspoons

Soy Milk- 3 tablespoons (1½ ounces)

Vanilla Extract- 1 teaspoons

King Arthur Flour Whole Wheat Flour- 2/3 cup (3 2/3 ounces)

King Arthur Flour Unbleached All-Purpose Flour- 2/3 cups (4 1/6 ounces)

Ground Flax Seed- 2/3 cup (5 ounces)

Baking Soda- 1 teaspoons

Baking Powder- ½ teaspoons

Salt- ½ teaspoons

Chopped Walnuts- ½ cup (4 ounces)

Ground Cinnamon- 1 teaspoons

REVIEW OF LITERATURE

Some call flax one of the most powerful plant foods on the planet.  There is evidence that it may help reduce risk of heart diease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes.  For such a tiny seed, that is quite awesome!  Although there are many positive health components that come with consuming flax, it owes its healthy reputation primarily to three ingredients; omega-3 essential fatty acids, lignanas, and fiber.  Omega-3 essential fatty acids are “good” fats that have been shown to have heart healthy-effects.  Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s.  Lignans have both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities.  Lignanas may help protect cancer by blocking enzymes that are involved in hormone metabolism and by interfering with the growth and spread of tumor cells.  Flaxseed contains 75-800 times more lignans than other plant foods.  As far as adding fiber to the diet, flaxseed contains both the soluble and insoluble types of fiber.

According to the peer reviewed article, “Effect of Consumption of Ground Whole seed Flax on Human Blood Traits”, “Flaxseed contains at least components that are of health interest: soluble fibers or mucilage; high amounts of ALA; and the plant lignin secoisolariciresinol diglucosid.”  This proves that flax seed is a functional food and addition of it into a recipe would certainly increase the disease prevention ability of the product.  The article goes on to say, “consumption of flax may be helpful in reducing cholesterol and triglyceride concentration in human beings.”  These two factors have a correlation with heart disease and cancers.  Therefore, I chose replacement of whole-wheat flour with flax as my first variable.  This is increasing the amount of omega 3 (ALA) fatty acids, which are being recommended for increased consumption for heart health.

Dr. Charles Santerre, Ph.D. suggested to the entire nutrition 205 lecture to take fish oil supplements.  Reason being, the omega-3 fatty acids as well as DHA that is bioavailable to the body is very high in fish oil and studies have shown that these fats have tremendous heart health benefits.  One source of omega-3 fatty acids that could be easily accessed and incorporated into a recipe with minimal change to palatability is flax seeds. Flax seeds are high in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, lignans, phytochemicals and antioxidants.  These factors make flax a functional food; they show that flax helps decrease the risk of diseases like heart disease and even cancer.  Heart disease is caused by high cholesterol and high levels of saturated fats and healthy omega-3 fatty acids as well as a diet high in fiber has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol and replace bad fat with good fat.  According to Mario G. Ferruzzi, in terms of cancer, one possible cause of cancer is free radicals, which are taken up by antioxidants in plant foods like fruits and vegetables.  Flax seeds also contain these antioxidants necessary for up taking free radicals thus reducing cancer risk.  Also, Mario G. Ferruzzi went over a slide in his presentation titling, “Omega-3 fatty acid benefits heart benefits on statins”.  Therefore, the components of flax seeds (omega-3s, fiber, and antioxidants), make it a functional food.

According to eatright.org the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website, “Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America. One in three adults have some form of heart/cardiovascular disease. Many of these deaths and risk factors are preventable, and food choices have a big impact on your heart’s health, even if you have other risk factors. ” According to the peer reviewed article, “Cardiovascular risk reduction and dietary compliance with a home-delivered diet and lifestyle modification program” by, Joi Augustin Gleason, MS, RD; Kathy Lundburg Bourdet, RD; Karin Koehn, MS, RD; Sanjay Holay, MS; Ernst J. Schaefer, MD, “Decreasing intake of saturated fat and cholesterol to lower blood cholesterol levels has been effective in metabolic studies.”

Also, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ dietary recommendations for a heart healthy diet states, “To lower your risk of heart disease, your diet should be:

  • High in omega-3 fatty acids. Foods high in omega-3s include fish and olive oil.
  • High in fiber, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. A diet rich in these elements helps lower LDL cholesterol as well as provides nutrients that may help protect against heart disease.”

    So, this banana bread is being tested to improve it’s functionality to improve heart health by testing to see if we can increase the amount of whole grains (whole wheat flour) and increase the amount of omega-3 fatty acids (flaxseed meal).

PROCEDURE

 

Control:

 

Formula: Whole Wheat Banana Bread

(149 1/3 grams) 2/3 cups (5 1/3 ounces, 1 1/3 to 1 2/3) very ripe bananas, mashed

(33 grams) 1/6 cup (1 1/6 ounces) vegetable oil

(66 grams) 1/3 cup (2 1/3 ounces) sugar

1 teaspoons ENER-G egg replacer plus 1 1/3 tablespoons warm water mixed

(14 1/3 grams) 1 tablespoons (½ ounces) nondairy milk (coconut, soy, or rice milk)

1/3 teaspoon vanilla extract

(37 2/3 grams) 1/3 cup (1 1/3 ounces) King Arthur Whole-Wheat Flour

(42 2/3 grams) 1/3 cup (1 ½ ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

1/3 teaspoon baking soda

1/6 teaspoon baking powder

1/6 teaspoon salt

(19 grams) 1/6 cup (2/3 ounces) chopped walnuts

(8 2/3 grams) 2/3 tablespoons (7/24 ounces) sugar (repeated to sprinkle on top)

1/3 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Procedure:

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease and flour a 3 x 1 2/3 inch loaf pan

In a large bowl, mash the bananas. Add oil, sugar, ENER-G egg replacer and water mix, milk, and vanilla and stir to combine.

Mix in the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and chopped walnuts.  Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to thoroughly combine the ingredients.

Transfer the batter into the prepared pan.  Mix together the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the batter.

Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for 3 1/3 minutes, then tip out of the pan and transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Yield: 1/3 loaf, 5 1/3 slices

Variable 1

Formula: Flaxseed Banana Bread

(149 1/3 grams) 2/3 cups (5 1/3 ounces, 1 1/3 to 1 2/3) very ripe bananas, mashed

(33 grams) 1/6 cup (1 1/6 ounces) vegetable oil

(66 grams) 1/3 cup (2 1/3 ounces) sugar

1 teaspoons ENER-G egg replacer plus 1 1/3 tablespoons warm water mixed

(14 1/3 grams) 1 tablespoons (½ ounces) nondairy milk (coconut, soy, or rice milk)

1/3 teaspoon vanilla extract

(37 2/3 grams) 1/3 cup (1 1/3 ounces) Ground Flaxseed (Flaxseed Meal)

(42 2/3 grams) 1/3 cup (1 ½ ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

1/3 teaspoon baking soda

1/6 teaspoon baking powder

1/6 teaspoon salt

(19 grams) 1/6 cup (2/3 ounces) chopped walnuts

(8 2/3 grams) 2/3 tablespoons (7/24 ounces) sugar

1/3 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Procedure:

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease and flour a 3 x 1 2/3 inch loaf pan

In a large bowl, mash the bananas. Add oil, sugar, ENER-G egg replacer and water mix, milk, and vanilla and stir to combine.

Mix in the flour, flaxseed meal (ground flax seed), baking soda, baking powder, salt, and chopped walnuts.  Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to thoroughly combine the ingredients.

Transfer the batter into the prepared pan.  Mix together the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the batter.

Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for 3 1/3 minutes, then tip out of the pan and transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Yield: 1/3 loaf, 5 1/3 slices

Replace whole-wheat flour with ground flax seed (same measurements)

Variable 2

Formula: Whole-Wheat Flaxseed Banana Bread

(149 1/3 grams) 2/3 cups (5 1/3 ounces, 1 1/3 to 1 2/3) very ripe bananas, mashed

(33 grams) 1/6 cup (1 1/6 ounces) vegetable oil

(66 grams) 1/3 cup (2 1/3 ounces) sugar

1 teaspoons ENER-G egg replacer plus 1 1/3 tablespoons warm water mixed

(14 1/3 grams) 1 tablespoons (½ ounces) nondairy milk (coconut, soy, or rice milk)

1/3 teaspoon vanilla extract

(37 2/3 grams) 1/3 cup (1 1/3 ounces) King Arthur Whole Wheat Flour

(42 2/3 grams) 1/3 cup (1 ½ ounces) Ground Flaxseed (Flaxseed Meal)

1/3 teaspoon baking soda

1/6 teaspoon baking powder

1/6 teaspoon salt

(19 grams) 1/6 cup (2/3 ounces) chopped walnuts

(8 2/3 grams) 2/3 tablespoons (7/24 ounces) sugar

1/3 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Procedure:

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease and flour a 3 x 1 2/3 inch loaf pan

In a large bowl, mash the bananas. Add oil, sugar, ENER-G egg replacer and water mix, milk, and vanilla and stir to combine.

Mix in the whole-wheat flour, flaxseed meal (ground flax), baking soda, baking powder, salt, and chopped walnuts.  Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to thoroughly combine the ingredients.

Transfer the batter into the prepared pan.  Mix together the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the batter.

Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for 3 1/3 minutes, then tip out of the pan and transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Yield: 1/3 loaf, 5 1/3 slices

 

Replace all-purpose flour with ground flax seed (same measurements)

 

Experiment 1

A trio test where panelists are given a standard (the control) and a sample (variable 1) and another standard (the control)

Experiment 2

A trio test where panelists are given a standard (the control) and a sample (variable 2) and another standard (the control)

Experiment 3

A preference test; the panelists will taste each variable, the control, variable 1 and variable 2, and they will rank the samples on a 1-9 hedonic scale evaluating texture and taste; 1 being dense and hard, and 9 being light and soft; 1 being unfavorably tasting, and 9 being favorably tasting.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

Bhardwaj H, Hamama A, Narina S, Parry J. (2012).  Effect of Consumption of Ground Wholeseed Flax on Human Blood Traits. Journal of Agricultural Science 4:106-111

Gleason, JA, Bourdet KL, Koehn K, Holay SY, Schaefer EJ. Cardiovascular Risk Reduction and Dietary Compliance with a Home-Delivered Diet and Lifestyle Modification Program.  J Am Diet Assoc. 2002;102:1445-51

Health Benefits of Flax Seeds.

http://www.all4naturalhealth.com/health-benefits-of-flax-seeds.html

 

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics The World’s Largest Organization of Food and Nutrition Professionals

http://www.eatright.org

 

Rosenburg, Irwin H., MD, and David A. Fryxell, eds. Cholesterol-Lowering Foods Boost Benefits of Cutting Saturated Fat. JAMA 2011; 306: 831-839

 

ChooseMyPlate.gov

http://www.choosemyplate.gov

Homemade Soup, Fresh-baked Bread

http://www.kingarthurflour.com

Column, Elaine Magee, MPH, RDWebMD Expert. Flaxseed Health Benefits, Food Sources, Recipes, and Tips for Using It

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/benefits-of-flaxseed

 

Ferruzzi, Mario G. Functional Foods and Bioactive Food Ingredients. 12 Sept. 2012.

And here’s a little more info on functional foods for ye:

WHAT ARE FUNCTIONAL FOODS?

Functional Foods are foods that provide more than basic nutrition.  They have bioactive food components that can potentially enhance health when eaten on a regular basis as part of a varied diet.  The simplest examples of functional foods are fruits and vegetables.  These offer life essential vitamins and minerals, but also contain an array of phytochemiclas (plant chemicals) that may fight certain diseases.

An important point to remember is that all the nutrients and healthy components in food work best together, or synergistically.  Research indicates that isolated healthy food components aded to fortified bars, drinks, or supplements may not present the same disease prevention benefits as a natural whole foods diet consumed over time.

KEY FUNCTIONAL FOOD COMPONENTS AND POTENTIAL HEALTH BENEFITS

Antioxidant Vitamins

Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Beta-Carotene- Antioxidants protect the cells in our body from damage by free-rdical compounds.  Regular intake of antioxidant-rich foods has the potential to ward off a variety of diseases; specifically it can reduce cancer risk and support healthy cardiovascular function.

B-Vitamins: Folate, Vitamin B-6, and Vitamin B-12– These three B-vitamins work together to maintain vascular function and health by keeping levels of the amino acid homocysteine under control.  High blood levels of homocysteine are a marker for vascular disease risk.  Low intake of any one of these three vitamins may increase risk for heart disease and stroke.  Available in a variety of foods.  B-vitamins are also essential for energy metabolism where they help break down carbohydrate into glucose.  Many energy drinks have added B-vitamins; however, research suggests persons who consume a reasonable diet, and are not vitamin deficient, will not see improved exercise performance by using vitamin fortified drinks.

Many foods are excellent sources of folate—fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, breakfast cereals, and fortified grains and grain products. It’s best to avoid foods that are highly fortified with folic acid.

Sources of vitamin B6 include fortified cereals, beans, poultry, fish, and some vegetables and fruits, especially dark leafy greens, papayas, oranges, and cantaloupe.

B12 is the most problematic vitamin to obtain from food sources for vegetarians who consume a strictly vegan diet. Vegetarians who eat eggs or dairy products should be able to obtain an adequate amount of B12 from their diet because both of those animal-based foods include vitamin B12. Vegans will either need to take a vegan-friendly B12 supplement or carefully monitor their intake of fortified cereals, soy milk or meat substitutes to ensure they are receiving an adequate amount of B12.

Minerals

Calcium– Clinical trials show calcium-rich foods can lower risk for osteoporosis.  More recently calcium intake from low-fat dairy has been linked to improve weight-loss for dieters, but the evidence here is still highly debated by scientists.

Potassium- Potassium plays a role in regulating blood pressure.  A study called the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) found a low-fat, low salt diet containing potassium-rich fruits and vegetables helped lower blood pressure.

Selenium- Several studies associate selenium with anti-cancer activity, including evidence for skin, prostate, colorectal, and esophageal cancers.  However, researchers advise more selenium is not always better and high-dose supplements could have negative effects.  Best is to regularly include selenium-rich foods in your diet, such as nuts, fish, poultry, and whole grains.

Omega-3 fatty acids

DHA/EPA and ALA- These acronyms pertain to two different types of omega-3 fatty acids.  DHA and EPA are found in animal sources and are the most easily used omega-3 fats for our body.  ALA is found in plant sources and our body must convert it to EPA and DHA.  Omega-3 fats are shown to reduce heart disease risk, and help maintain mental and visual function.  The average American diet is low in omega-3 rich foods.  To get enough, incorporate into your diet good sources such as cold water fish, walnuts, ground flax, and omega-3 fortified eggs.  (Other sources include hemp and chia seeds).  Research indicates six ounces of fatty cold-water fish per week can reduce heart disease risk.

Probiotics and prebiotics

Probiotics- Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria Probiotics are the healthful bacteria that reside in our intestinal tract.  Natural food sources are mainly fermented dairy like yogurt and kefir, kombucha, and miso.  Human population research suggests diet rich in fermented foods may lower cholesterol and cancer risk.  Clinical trials show probiotics maintain gut function and health by preventing overgrowth of harmful intestinal bacteria.  Because good immunity depends on a healthy gut, probiotics also aid our immune defenses.

PrebioticsInulin, Polydextrose, and Fructo- oligosaccharides (FOS)- Prebiotics are carbohydrates in food that our body cannot digest or absorb.  Food sources include whole grains, some fruits, onions, garlic, leeks, honey, and fortified foods and beverages.  As they pass through our digestive tract probiotics feed on them.  Therefore, prebiotics are the food that keeps beneficial probiotic populations adequate and healthy.  This in turn may improve

Fiber

Fiber is only found in plants, but more and more foods are being fortified with what scientists call “functional fibers” such as maltodextrins, polydextrose, beta glucans, inulin, and cellulose.  These isolated fiber components may not confer all the same benefits of total or complete fiber from natural whole foods.  Some benefits of fiber-rich diets include reduced risk of heart disease and cancer, and maintenance of a heathy digestive tract and blood glucose levels.  Clinical trials show that soluble fiber rich in beta glucans and found in foods like oats and barley lowers cholesterol by binding it in the intestine.

Soy Protein

Soy protein found in natural soy foods is shown in clinical trials to reduce cholesterol and risk of heart disease.  Because soy has other healthy components like isoflavones and lignanas, it’s advisable to include whole soy foods in your diet over foods supplemented with soy protein.  These other soy components my contribute to bone health and immune function, as well as menopausal health for women.

Phytosterols

Phytosterols are plant compounds that lower cholesterol by trapping it in the gut.  An increasing number of foods are being fortified with phytosterols; examples include margarines, yogurt, orange juice, and rice milk.  Natural sources include corn, soy, and wheat.  However; for persons who need to lower their cholesterol and want a safe, more natural alternative to drugs, the phytosterol levels found in fortified foods may be more effective than those attainable from natural sources.

Specific Phytochemicals

Carotenoids- Leafy green vegetables, corn, eggs, and citrus are sources of a lutein and zeaxanthin carotenoids.  These have key roles in maintaining healthy vision.  Tomatoes, canned tomato products, and watermelon are sources of lycopene- a carotenoid that maintains prostate health.

Flavonoids- Compounds from this large group of phytochemiclas are found in a variety of foods and their potential health benefits are numerous.  Potential benefits include: overall disease protection from enhanced cellular antioxidant defenses; roles in heart and urinary tract health; and maintenance of brain function.

Isothiocyanates Cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower; broccoli, cabbage, collards, kale, and Brussel sprouts are rich in these phytochemicals.  Animal studies and human population research show isothiocyanates fight cancer and enhance our bodies’ natural antioxidant defenses and detoxification systems.

Sulfides and Thiols- Pungent vegetables like onions, garlic, leaks, and scallions are rich in these phytochemicals.  Potential health benefits include enhanced detoxification of undesirable compounds, cancer fighting, and maintenance of heart health and immune function.

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