January 28/Food Business Week -- According to recent research from Mysore, India, "Sponge cakes were prepared by incorporating barley flour (10, 20, 30, and 40% w/w) into wheat flours. The sponge cakes were evaluated for their physical, chemical, nutritional, textural and sensory attributes."

"All the prepared products exhibited high fiber, mineral and protein contents when compared with the 100% wheat flour based product. Incorporation of barley flour improved the visual of the cake from pale cream to golden brown, and texture was found to be softer as indicated by the instrumental texture profile analysis of the resulted cake. The cohesiveness and adhesiveness increased as barley flour incorporation from 0 to 40%, and these texture properties were not increased further during storage up to 120 h. Incorporation of 20% barley flour into wheat flour for preparing cake was found to be optimum, containing rich in -glucan, iron, calcium, zinc and highest sensory scores. While the texture characteristics showed 0.262 cohesivess and 1.39 N mm adhesiveness. The prepared cake sample indicated that the product was nutritionally rich, softer and firmer as compared to the 100% wheat flour. The results indicated that the barley flour had an anti-staling effect during storage up to 120 hr," wrote M. Gupta and colleagues.

The researchers concluded, "The addition of vegetable oil to the batter resulted in an improved texture."

Gupta and colleagues published their study in International Journal of Food Properties ("Effect of Barley Flour Incorporation on the Instrumental Texture of Sponge Cake." International Journal of Food Properties, 2009;12(1):243-251).

For additional information, contact A.S. Bawa, DRDO, Def Food Research Laboratory, Cereal & Pulses Technology Division, Mysore 570011, Karnataka, India.

From the February 2, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition