The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) claims that grape seed extracts can up the antioxidant content in cookies by 10 times when microencapsulated.
A IFT study published in the Journal of Food Science said that the functional cookie would taste as good as a regular product.
The research organisation said: “Grape seed extracts are rich in antioxidants which have been associated with beneficial effects on human health such as prevention of cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
"However, they have two disadvantages when used as food ingredients: a bitter and astringent flavor and instability to heat.”
The IFT used microencapsulation to cover grape seed antioxidants with a mixture of compounds to protect the grape seeds antioxidants from flavor changes brought about by heat.
Microencapsulation is a technique whereby an ingredient is covered by a mixture of compounds on a microscopic scale.
“This study suggests there is an opportunity to further investigate incorporating antioxidants microcapsules into baked products without affecting consumers’ likability,” the organization said.
“In addition, there could be a bigger potential market for enriched cookies with antioxidants if consumers are educated on the health benefits of antioxidants,” it added.
Method and research
To determine consumer acceptability, IFT scientists tested 4 types of cookies: A control (regular cookie), one enriched with grape seed extract, and two with the grape seed extract microencapsulated.
The cookies were evaluated by instrumental analyses, a sensory trained panel using quantitative descriptive analysis and a consumer acceptance and attitude survey.
The consumers rated the control and one microencapsulated cookie as equals and described the modified cookie as displaying attributes similar to a product made with whole grain ingredients.
When told some cookies were microencapsulated, around 60% said they were willing to purchase cookies enriched with antioxidants.
"This high positive percentage may increase if consumers received more education on the health beneﬁts of antioxidant consumption,” said the study.
Journal of Food Science, Volume 77, Issue 12,
pages S430–S438, December 2012
‘Sensory and Consumer Perception of the Addition of Grape Seed Extracts in Cookies’
Authors: G. Davidov-Pardo,, M. Moreno,, I. Arozarena, M.R. Marín-Arroyo, R.N. Bleibaum, C. M. Bruhn