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Margaret Glady ’07

Physical and Sensory Evaluation of Leavening Agents in Baked Products.

Leavening agents used in baked goods have changed over time as new chemical leavening agents have been developed. Various chemical leavening agents were utilized in the recipe testing and development for Saint Benedict's Monastery historical cookbook, From the Monastery Kitchens: the Sesquicentennial Recipe Collection. This investigation utilized a sugar cookie recipe from the Monastery recipe collection comparing the use of three different chemical leavening agents: baking ammonia (the original recipe leavening agent), baking soda, and aluminum free baking powder. Baking ammonia was a common leavening agent in the mid-1800's when Saint Benedict's Monastery was founded in central Minnesota. As new chemical leavening agents were created baking ammonia decreased in popularity and today, baking soda or baking powder are most often used for leavening cookies in the United States. Project qualitative analysis included standardized sensory evaluation of the sugar cookies to determine the acceptability in terms of aesthetic appeal, taste, and texture. Project quantitative analysis included cookie height and pH. Qualitative analysis indicated the baking soda leavened cookie as most acceptable for taste and texture and the aluminum free baking powder leavened cookie with the most acceptable appearance. The baking ammonia leavened cookie had consistently low sensory evaluation scores in all areas evaluated. Quantitative analysis found the baking soda and aluminum free baking powder cookies with similar pH and height values. The baking ammonia leavened cookie had the highest pH and height values. Conclusions based on the investigation results indicate that baking ammonia is the least desirable of the three leavening agents studied due to low sensory scores and strong odors during the cookie's dough production and baking.

Margaret Glady presented her research at the Minnesota Dietetic Association meeting.
Margaret Glady and Kaitlin Carr at the Minnesota Dietetic Association meeting, April 2007.

Research Advisor: Bernadette Elhard, MBA, RDN, LD