Soybeans are widely used in bakery products because of their technological advantages and, recently, soybean-containing products have been marketed as functional foods thanks to several health benefits. Okara is a soybean-based ingredient obtained after elimination of the water-soluble component from ground soybeans. In this paper the effect of okara addition to bakery products on the formation of some potentially harmful Maillard reaction products was evaluated. Cookies obtained by replacing 15% of wheat flour with okara showed a visible browning increase and a more intense Maillard reaction development as shown by higher concentrations of 5-hydroxymethyl-2-furaldehyde (HMF) (+100%), acrylamide (+60%), and carboxymethyl-lysine (CML) (+400%) with respect to the control. This phenomenon could be related to the presence in okara of about 50% of insoluble dietary fiber: the fiber reduces water activity during cooking, thus promoting Maillard reaction. To confirm this hypothesis, cookies obtained by replacing 7% of wheat flour with three different types of dietary fiber (cellulose, chitosan, and pea fiber) were prepared: these experimental cookies showed higher Maillard reaction product concentration with respect to the control and, in particular, HMF and CML values were directly related to the fiber water-holding capacity (WHC). To extend the observation to the food market, a sampling of soybean-containing commercial bakery products was analyzed by comparing the concentrations of Maillard reaction products with those of similar bakery products without soy. Soybean-containing samples showed higher concentrations of acrylamide and CML than corresponding controls.
- Carboxymethyl lysine
- Dietary fiber