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What’s so special about a crispy baguette?

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Scientists find a baguette's crust is just as key as its aroma when it comes to taste, says the American Chemical Society. Why that is could help all food scientists

Cork, Ireland

Washington, DC – There’s just something so enticing about a crispy baguette, fresh out of the oven.

In fact, there’s something so integral to that crispy crust and aroma that scientists took a deeper look into it.

The American Chemical Society (ACS) released a statement on May 17, 2017 (“Why a crackly crust is essential to a baguette’s aroma and taste”) about a report by scientists “on how crumb and crust structure affect aroma – and therefore perceived taste.”

Their work is published in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.


As ACS explains, when a baguette comes out of the oven the aroma can make your mouth water. But aroma doesn’t just work on its own.

“Chewing food also releases molecules that waft in our mouths, interacts with olfactory receptors and influence how we perceive what we’re eating,” says ACS in the statement.

Understanding how this works, explains ACS, can help food scientists improve the taste of many other foods.

These scientists used a baguette “to see how its texture would affect its aroma when chewed.”

The researchers invited three study participants to eat samples of nine baguettes, says ACS, “each with a different crumb and crust densities, water content and elasticity.”

The researchers then analyzed the “volatile organic compounds” that the participants exhaled through their noses and analyzed their chewing activity.

What they found, says ACS, was “that firm bread and brittle crust led to more chewing and a greater rate of release of aroma molecules.”

The researchers say “the findings could help food scientists create new bread types better tailored to meet consumers’ expectations.”

Image: ThinkStock

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