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Food Nutr Res. 2012;56. doi: 10.3402/fnr.v56i0.5566. Epub 2012 Apr 2.

Enhancement of the folate content in Egyptian pita bread.

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Department of Food Science, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.



Egypt has a high incidence of neural tube defects related to folate deficiency. One major food source for folate is pita (baladi) bread, which is consumed daily. Bioprocessing (e.g. germination) has been reported to increase the folate content in cereals. The aim was to produce pita bread with increased folate content using germinated wheat flour (GWF).


Prior to milling the effects of germination and drying conditions on folate content in wheat grains were studied. Pita bread was baked from wheat flour substituted with different levels of GWF. The folate content in dough and bread and rheological properties of dough were determined.


Germination of wheat grains resulted in, depending on temperature, 3- to 4-fold higher folate content with a maximum of 61 µg/100 g DM (dry matter). The folate content in both flour and bread increased 1.5 to 4-fold depending on the level of flour replacement with GWF. Pita bread baked with 50% sieved GWF was acceptable with respect to colour and layer separation, and had a folate content of 50 µg/100 g DM compared with 30 µg/100 g DM in conventional pita bread (0% GWF).


Using 50% GWF, pita bread with increased folate content, acceptable for the Egyptian consumer, was produced. Consumption of this bread would increase the average daily folate intake by 75 µg.


baladi bread; bioprocessing; folate; germination; wheat grains

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