A day at the office…

My job as a cereal scientist sometimes affords me the joy of a full day of baking, product development, and promotion of our work and the farmers who are putting their money where their mouth is and growing food barley.

In all the products shown below, the flour has a minimum of 10% stone-ground whole barley. The long loaves and the pretzels have 50% wholegrain barley flour and the big sandwich loaves have 50% barley with 35% stone-ground whole-wheat. The remainder is plain baker’s flour.

This was for our successful  “Barley and Friends” field day. {link} held this May 9th.

And good practice for our event at the “Kneading Conference West” in September {link}.

The barley pretzels are, of course, the natural accompaniment to that other barley product, good beer!

Thanks to Jake Mattson of the Oregon State Food Science department for helping to divide, shape, and dip [in 1M NaOH] the 100 pretzels we made!

Today’s molecule – Caffeine

More good news about coffee

American Chemical Society Press release 4th May 2011

“New evidence that caffeine is a healthful antioxidant in coffee”.

Is Caffeine a Good Scavenger of Oxygenated Free Radicals? Jorge Rafael Len-Carmona, & Annia Galano. The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 2011, 115 (15), 4538-4546.  [link]

Len-Carmona, & Galano note that caffeine [1,3,7-trimethylxanthine] is found also in “seeds, citrus fruits, olive oil, tea, and cocoa beverages“.

Their work suggested that caffeine is a good scavenger of some reactive oxygen species, but not all. Excellent OH scavenging activity was reported, only “modest” scavenging of OCH3 and no scavenging of HOO

They cite work of others that suggest caffeine is effective against conditions related to oxidative stress in the body including Alzheimer’s disease, eye lens damage from photochemically induced reactive oxygen species, and that caffeine [actually its metabolites in humans]  may have antioxidant potential at least that of ascorbic acid .

Typically the press release was a little less guarded than the paper:  “Scientists are reporting an in-depth analysis of how the caffeine in coffee, tea, and other foods seems to protect against conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease on the most fundamental levels.” “Annia Galano and Jorge Rafael León-Carmona describe evidence suggesting that coffee is one of the richest sources of healthful antioxidants in the average person’s diet. Some of the newest research points to caffeine (also present in tea, cocoa, and other foods) as the source of powerful antioxidant effects that may help protect people from Alzheimer’s and other diseases“.

Adventures in whole grains at Oregon State continued

Barley bread – first try

straight-dough process made with

90 parts whole-grain stone-milled STREAKER hull-less barley flour;

10 parts dry wheat gluten;

100 parts water

1.5 parts instant yeast

2 parts salt

1.5 part malted barley flour

mix till elastic

1 hour bulk fermentation

divide 650 g & shape

1hour final proof

bake 200 deg C [400 deg F] 35 minutes

Physical and Sensory Properties of All-Barley and All-Oat Breads with Additional Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose (HPMC) β-Glucan. Yookyung Kim, Wallace H Yokoyama. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2011 59 (2), 741-746