Bread is a baked staple food prepared from a dough of water and flour and one of the most popular food in all continents of the world.It is considered as oldest man-made food that change its shape over the time depends upon the use and need of the people. Bred normally leaven by naturally occurring microbes, yeast, different chemicals and high-pressure aeration. In addition, commercial bread often has additives to improve texture, flavor, shelf life, and color for the ease of production.
Bread is the main source of carbohydrate required by the human body. The ingredient of the bread plays a significant role in influencing human health as bread is considered as one of the most consumable staple foods. With the increase health awareness, bread consumer is more conscious about its functional ingredients like phenolic compounds and dietary fiber to improve health and fitness.
One of the main challenges faced by the bread producer is to cut rancidity and microbial spoilage to prolong the shelf life of the bread by maintaining its taste, flavor and freshness. To, overcome these challenges, commercial bread producers are using industrial antioxidants and chemical preservatives like mold inhibitors, to extend the shelf life. However, these industrial antioxidants and preservatives have certain health side effects and there is a need to find natural sources of antioxidants, such as flavonoids and polyphenols.
Natural herbs and medicinal plants are the best alternate of industrial compounds. These herbs and plants are cheap, safe for health, easily available and people are familiar and using them for years. In addition, these plants and herbs give the ingredient to cure many human diseases by containing beneficial phytochemicals. Researchers informed that herbs used as natural antioxidants in the food industry to protect fats from oxidation and increase the nutritional value and quality of food1.
A recent research published in ‘American Journal of Food Technology’ to study the effect of the medicinal herbs (sage, anise and caraway) at different concentrations on the dough rheology and sensory properties of bread formulated as a novel food high in antioxidants. The researcher found that these herbs in concentrations ranging from 0.25-0.5% can be used to produce bread with effective antioxidant properties and a long shelf life. So, they concluded that medicinal herbs like Anise, sage and caraway could be effectively utilized as a natural source of antioxidants in the bakery industry and to produce healthy baked products2.
- Aaby, K., E. Hvattum and G. Skrede, 2004. Analysis of flavonoids and other phenolic compounds using high-performance liquid chromatography with coulometric array detection: Relationship to antioxidant activity. J. Agric. Food Chem., 52: 4595-4603.
- Haiam O. Elkatry, Nashi K. Alqahtani and Abdelrahman R. Ahmed, 2021. Dough Behavior and Quality Characteristics of Novel Bread Fortified with Some Medicinal Herbs. American Journal of Food Technology, 16: 9-17.