Food In Canada


Gluten-free breads improve with buckwheat

A study from Italy finds that adding buckwheat flour to gluten-free breads improves texture and nutrition

Milan, Italy – New research has found that the nutrition and texture in gluten-free breads can be improved by adding buckwheat flour.

The study, reports a story on, looked at the role of buckwheat and hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) in making gluten-free breads.

What the researchers from the University of Milan found was that high levels of buckwheat flour, up to 40 per cent, improved the leavening characteristics and overall quality of gluten-free breads.

Because it is high in dietary fibre, the buckwheat flour increases dough viscosity, along with “the swelling and gelling properties of the buckwheat starch and the emulsion-forming and stabilizing properties of the globulin protein fraction,” the researchers wrote.

The study also found that bread crumbs in gluten-free bread made with buckwheat flour and the food additive HPMC were softer than in gluten-free bread made without buckwheat flour.

For their study, says, the research team evaluated 10 bread formulas, two commercial, eight experimental, with varying levels of buckwheat flours and HPMC.

These formulas used both de-hulled and puffed buckwheat flour. The team based all experimental formulas on recipes from the two commercial samples.

The formula that yielded the most favourable gluten-free bread included: 40 per cent de-hulled buckwheat flour, five per cent puffed buckwheat flour and 0.5 per cent HPMC.

The researchers point out that the food industry has cleared numerous formulation hurdles associated with removing gluten from dough, and created numerous new gluten-free products, reports

However, they add, many gluten-free breads are still made with pure starches, “resulting in low technological and nutritional quality.”