BACKGROUND Bread traditionally made from wheat is now often supplemented with alternative functional ingredients as chestnut flours; no data have been previously published about the staling of chestnut-containing bread. Thus short-term storage (3 days) for chestnut flour-supplemented soft wheat bread is evaluated by means of selected physicochemical properties (i.e. water dynamics, texture, colour, crumb grain characteristic, total antioxidant capacity). RESULTS Bread prepared with a 20:80 ratio of chestnut:soft wheat flours maintained its moisture content in both crust and crumb. Crumb hardness, after baking, was found to be significantly higher than that of the soft wheat bread; it did not change during storage, whereas it significantly increased in the control bread until the end of the shelf life. The supplemented bread presented a heterogeneous crumb structure, with a significant decrease in the largest pores during shelf life, relative to the shrinkage of crumb grain. The control exhibited a significant redistribution of crumb holes, with a decrease in the smallest grain classes and an increase in the intermediate ones, most likely caused by cell wall thickening. The colour of the crumb remained unaltered in both breads. The crust of the control presented a significant decrease of a* (redness) and that of the supplemented bread exhibited a decrease of b* (yellowness). The antioxidant capacity was detected after day 1 of storage in the chestnut flour bread only. CONCLUSION Chestnut flour supplementation could represent a feasible way of producing bread with improved characteristics, not only just after baking but also during shelf life.
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