Consumers adore barley bread

BarleyBread is a large EU project which involves the development of better barley bread. Products from this project have now been tested on Norwegian consumers. The test panel gave the thumbs up in particular for two of the bread types.

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The EU project BarleyBread aims to increase the use of barley in human food, in particular in bread. Over a period of three years, Norwegian and European food producers and research institutes will develop new and healthy products made of barley. Tor Sevaldsen bakery in Kristiansund and 14 other partners from Norway, Spain, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Scotland, Turkey and England are taking part in the project.

The aim is to develop barley flour which contains at least 75% health promoting components and up to 60% barley in the finished product. The salt content of the bread will also be reduced to 0.4% in the finished product. It is also vital to the project that the products developed are well liked by consumers.

Needed 100 testers
"We had developed five different types of bread. Bread with wholemeal flour and without; with or without what we call ‘flakes’ (grain husks); with reduced salt content and with normal salt content. All these needed to be tested in accordance with a testing form developed by Nofima Mat. Each participant was required to spend 5-6 minutes on tasting, drinking a little water, and then tasting again. The testers had to cross off which products they liked the best and the least," says Tor Jan Sevaldsen.

"We needed at least 100 respondents. In advance we thought it would be difficult to get that many to take part in the testing, but we were done in just four hours. We tempted those who took part with a prize of two free loaves of bread, and had a tremendous response," he continues.

Sensory tests
While this test was carried out at a shopping centre in Kristiansund, a sensory panel at Nofima Mat judged bread from the same production. The bread was transported by air from the bakery in Kristiansund to ensure that the tests could be carried out at the same time in different parts of the country.

This time the main focus was on taste and not so much on health. The test results show that two of the types of bread were particularly popular. However, Sevaldsen is not at liberty to disclose which ones before the test results are presented in Madrid at the end of April.

"That’s when we will go through the results. We are nearing the end phase of the project itself. The same test has also been carried out in other European countries with local bakers."

"We’ve never done anything like this before, and we’ve learned a lot about thoroughness in product development. The method we used can be transferred to many other local applications, in particular to sales techniques," concludes Sevaldsen.

Consumer and sensory sciences  

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