Sensory product testing is a powerful tool with a wide range of applications in the bakery industry. You really see this come to light with bread. There are many options to choose from; what do consumers prefer?
In a very large testing group, 62% prefer whole-wheat bread to all others. White bread is next at 42%, but after that it goes way down to raisin bread at 8.4%. Why is whole-wheat bread so popular? It offers a number of sensory features that are unique, but it is partly the perception of the market.
Whole-wheat bread or whole meal bread is a type of bread made using flour that is partly or entirely milled from whole or almost-whole wheat grains. It’s a type of brown bread. Some varieties of whole-wheat bread are coated with whole or cracked grains of wheat, though this is mostly decorative compared to the nutritional value of a good quality loaf itself.
In fact, the term “wheat bread” is sometimes used as a marketing tactic to give the impression of a product being whole-wheat bread, but this is at best a vague term and actually deceptive because most white bread is made from wheat flour, and thus could legitimately be called “wheat bread”. The majority of bread marketed in the USA under the name “wheat bread” has very little whole grain content, and is made primarily of white flour, with caramel coloring added to them to give an illusion of higher whole-wheat content. The health industry has successfully convinced more people to eat whole-grain bread.
Overall, bread gets a bad reputation because grains are not as easy for your body to digest, can overwork your pancreatic enzymes, contains the anti-nutrient phytic acid as well as an abundance of gluten. Also, wheat crops in the United States have been through genetic manipulation to make them profitable for the food industry and arguably less healthy for us.
However, wheat grain has been a valuable food for thousands of years. Whole-wheat bread packs the nutrition of all three components of the wheat kernel. The outer rough layer of the grain — the bran — is valuable for its fiber; the wheat germ of the seed is high in nutrients; and the majority of the grain, called the endosperm, is a good source of carbohydrates.
This article is free information from Contract Testing Inc., an established leader in sensory product research and consumer product research for the food, beverage, and (QSR) quick service restaurant industries throughout the United States and Canada. To learn more about the complete scope of product research services, please call 1-905-456-0783 or visit us onlineContractTesting.com.