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Influence of gluten-free flour mixes and fat powders on the quality of gluten-free biscuits


Studies were conducted to develop gluten-free biscuits comparable in quality to wheat (W) biscuits and superior to those made from commercial gluten-free flour (Gf), suitable for coeliac sufferers. Three mixes of brown rice flour (R), corn starch (C), potato starch (P), soya flour (S), buckwheat flour (B) and millet flakes (M) were studied: RCPS in the percentage 70, 10, 10, 10, RPBM (50, 30, 10, 10) and RCPM (25, 25, 25, 25). Biscuits were tested for water activity, moisture, texture (snap test), diameter, thickness and colour (L* value), biscuit dough for hardness and stickiness. Various correlations >0.8 indicated for the three mixes, W and Gf that firm, non-sticky doughs yielded firm, thin, non-oval biscuits. Cluster analysis revealed that RCPS was most similar to W with regards to all parameters measured, and RCPS also showed best overall acceptability in sensory testing. Three fat powders were studied for use instead of palm oil: high and low fat dairy powder (HFP, LFP) and microencapsulated high fat powder based on vegetable fat (ME). HFP and ME yielded biscuits of comparable texture to palm oil, LFP resulted in much firmer biscuits, attributed to lower fat and higher protein and total sugar content.

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aw :

Water activity


Buckwheat flour


Corn starch


Commercial gluten-free flour


(Cream based) high fat powder




(Milk based) low fat powder


Millet flakes


Microencapsulated fat powder based on vegetable fat


Potato starch


Palm oil


Brown rice flour


Soya flour


Sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate


Wheat flour (biscuit quality)


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This project was funded by the Irish government under the National Development Plan, 2000-2006. The authors thank Charmaine I. Clarke for various useful hints, Tom Hannon for his continuous support and Kieran Keogh and Denis P. Neville for the supply of the microencapsulated high fat powder. The cooperation of Prof. Dr.-Ing. R. Scherer, Fachhochschule Fulda, is gratefully acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Elke K. Arendt.

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Schober, T.J., O'Brien, C.M., McCarthy, D. et al. Influence of gluten-free flour mixes and fat powders on the quality of gluten-free biscuits. Eur Food Res Technol 216, 369–376 (2003).

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