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Polenta-based snack development: from maize flour to final product by assessing structural, mechanical and sensory properties


The aim of this paper was to study, step by step, the effect of ingredients and storage conditions on several properties of both the maize-based dough and the final product, during the new polenta-based snack food developing. Two different maize flours were characterized through water activity determination, particle size analysis, scanning electronic microscopy; then, dough made with different ratio of these were evaluated for mechanical properties and microstructure. According to the preliminary physicochemical characterization of both flour and dough, the final formulation was chosen for the polenta-based snacks. Thus, mechanical and sensory analyses, as well as microstructure determination, were performed on the final product. Results showed that the two maize flours presented different particle size distribution and gelatinization enthalpy, and affected the mechanical properties of intermediate products. The storage conditions dramatically affected the characteristics of the final products. Sensory results demonstrated that breading improves the crispness of external part but keeping creamy the product inside. The chosen approach was useful for understanding that flour particle size and storage are the critical factors that should be considered for this type of snack. The best formulation was made by mixing coarse and fine maize flours and by adding a batter.

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The present research was partially funded by the project MISE maisfood Industria 2015.

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Correspondence to R. Di Monaco.

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Miele, N.A., Di Monaco, R., Formisano, D. et al. Polenta-based snack development: from maize flour to final product by assessing structural, mechanical and sensory properties. J Food Sci Technol 55, 2569–2578 (2018).

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  • Maize flour
  • Food rheology
  • Sensory analysis
  • Product development
  • Food structure
  • Gelatinization