Starch is widely used as an ingredient and significantly contributes to texture, appearance, and overall acceptability of cereal based foods, playing an important role due to its ability to form a matrix, entrapping air bubbles. A detailed characterisation of five gluten-free starches (corn, wheat, rice, tapioca, potato) was performed in this study. In addition, the influence of these starches, with different compositional and morphological properties, was evaluated on a simple gluten-free model bread system. The morphological characterisation, evaluated using scanning electron microscopy, revealed some similarities among the starches, which could be linked to the baking performance of the breads. Moreover, the lipid content, though representing one of the minor components in starch, was found to have an influence on pasting, bread making, and staling. Quality differences in cereal root and tuber starch based breads were observed. However, under the baking conditions used, gluten-free rendered wheat starch performed best, followed by potato starch, in terms of loaf volume and cell structure. Tapioca starch and rice starch based breads were not further analysed, due to an inferior baking performance. This is the first study to evaluate gluten-free starch on a simple model bread system.
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