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Snack Size Science: Hershey’s healthy chocolate cake

By Stephen Daniells , 10-Aug-2009

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FoodNavigator's Snack Size Science brings you the week's top science every two weeks. This week we look at how to make chocolate cake healthier, and boosting the nutritional profile of gluten-free bread.

The following is a transcript of the podcast:

This is FoodNavigator’s Snack Size Science. I’m Stephen Daniells - bringing you the week’s top science in digestible amounts.

This week we chew over the options available for formulating nutritionally improved gluten-free bread, but first a study from the Hershey Company suggests you may be able to have your cake, eat it, and get

While chocolate bars and drinks enriched with health boosting antioxidants are already flowing onto the market, the idea of a heart healthy chocolate cake seems almost paradoxical.

However, new research from Hershey suggests that simply changing the ingredients in chocolate cake could preserve levels of compounds responsible for the reported health benefits.

Writing in the Journal of Food Science, the chocolate giant’s scientists report that using baking powder rather than baking soda in a chocolate cake mix can ensure the product stays rich in antioxidants.

Adding a really healthy aspect to cake sounds like an idea that is definitely not half-baked.

Bakery of a different sort was also in the news this week.

While the gluten-free market shows no signs of staling, there are concerns that some of the products on the market, particularly those made with rice, corn and potato flour, may have a relatively poor nutritional profile.

Now scientists from the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University in New York report that replacing these standard gluten-free flours with flour from ‘alternative’ grains like oats and quinoa could boost the final product’s nutritional profile.

Using these alternative flours, the scientists were able to produce bread with improved levels of protein, iron, calcium and fibre.

Companies such as ConAgra Mills are already looking at blends of ancient gluten-free grains and tapioca starch, and it seems that the grains of the past may lead to the gluten-free products of the future.

For FoodNavigator’s Snack Size Science, I’m Stephen Daniells

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