Prof John Taylor Delivered a Keynote Lecture at IUFoST Congress

Posted on September 12, 2014

Prof John Taylor, a Fellow of the International Academy of Food Science and Technology, delivered a Keynote lecture on “Developments in improving the quality of gluten-free bread made from non-wheat cereals through modification of their starch and protein properties”.

According to Prof. Taylor, there are compelling reasons to develop technology to produce high quality bread from non-wheat cereals. Many people suffer from Coeliac disease, intolerances to wheat-type grains, or allergies from wheat. In Africa, rapid urbanisation is resulting in huge demand for the convenience of bread. However, wheat cannot be widely cultivated due to adverse climatic conditions. Current gluten-free breads, which are made primarily from starches plus hydrocolloids, although technically successful, are only an interim solution. They have poor nutritional quality and are too expensive to be a staple in developing countries.


He stated that ongoing research at several centres indicates the possibility of a game changer that will enable scientists to make pan-type bread from cereals such as maize and sorghum. The key is modification of the flour starch and prolamin proteins. Natural sourdough fermentation can improve starch functionality, enabling it to better hold the leavening carbon dioxide. Forming a wheat-like dough from non-wheat proteins has been described as the “Holy Grail” of gluten-free breads. Both genetic modification of the prolamins and their chemical modification can alter the properties of the maize zein and sorghum kafirin so that they exhibit visco-elastic properties, similar to gluten. The success of this research would help reduce wheat related diseases in Africa, and the world as a whole.

- Author Food Science

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