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The chemistry of bread stuffing

A potential anticancer agent in bread crusts could mitigate the harmful effects of acrylamide in your roast dinner.

David Bradley(davidbradley@nasw.org)

If you like to put stuffing in your turkey at Christmas, make sure you use the bread crusts when you make breadcrumbs for the mixture. German researchers have discovered that a potential chemopreventative agent occurs in bread crusts at much higher levels than in the rest of the bread (Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, November 24, 2002).

According to Thomas Hofmann, now at the University of Munster, a new type of antioxidant is present in the crusts of bread. The compound is a product of the Maillard reaction, which turns foods brown when they are cooked and adds to their flavour.

Hofmann and his colleagues used a conventional sourdough mix of rye and wheat flour to bake bread, and analyzed crust, crumb, and flour for antioxidant content and activity. The new antioxidant, pronyl-lysine, was eight times more abundant in the crust than in the crumb and not...

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