Sensory Quality and Consumer Perception of Wheat Bread : Towards Sustainable Production and Consumption. Effects of Farming System, Year, Technology, Information and Values

Abstract: In order to study the effect of production systems aimed at sustainability on product quality and of sensory and non-sensory factors on product acceptance – the effect of farming system, year, milling and baking techniques on the sensory qualities of wheat bread as a model product was investigated using a descriptive test, and the effect of information and values on liking of bread using consumer tests.Whole wheat and white breads were baked with wheat grown in six lots in established conventional and organic farming systems in field trails, in two subsequent years for the white bread.Milling technique influenced flours’ rheology and had greater impact on the sensory qualities of whole wheat bread and on the slice area than did farming system and baking technique. Bread baked with roller-milled wheat was characterized by sweetness, juiciness, compactness and smaller slice area than bread baked with stone-milled wheat, which was characterized by saltiness, deformity and roasted cereals.The effect of year on the white bread was greater than the effect of farming system or recipe modification. Bread baked with wheat harvested in 1999 had significantly lower intensities of crumb attributes such as smoothness, juiciness and elasticity, but higher rancid flavour, springiness, compressibility, mastication resistance than bread baked with wheat harvested in 2000. Bread baked with conventional flour had significantly higher juiciness and elasticity than organic bread.Image analysis did not show differences in slice area between bread baked with conventionally and organically grown wheat harvested in 1999 compared with 2000. Information affected liking in relation to the type of provided information. Information on organic origin enhanced most liking of bread, particularly for the less liked samples and frequent consumers of organic food. Significantly different values and different specific liking of breads were found among consumer segments. Results linked values and age with “taste”.