Yeasty, crunchy and filling, carbs are the foods we historically associate with comfort, safety and security. Now it turns out that we may have a genetic ability to identify “starch,” found in bread, rice and pasta, as a unique flavor.
Behind the research
We’ve known for some time that taste buds can recognize sweet, sour, salty and bitter flavors. Most recently, the meaty umami flavor was added as the fifth flavor. Now, scientists are suggesting that our taste buds can identify starchy flavors as well. “We are taught that humans can taste only five taste categories,” said Juyun Lim, Associate Professor at Oregon State University’s Department of Food Science and Technology and lead author of the starchy flavor research study. “It seems, however, that we can taste other chemicals that comprise foods such as starch.”
What those carb cravings mean
“Craving starch is really just another form of sugar craving, since the body converts carbs into sugar,” says Suzy Badaracco, President, Culinary Tides, a trends forecaster for the food industry. Carbs have long been our favorite comfort food, she says. Trend spotters have noticed that during economic recession, people turn away from zesty foods like chili, garlic and citrus, and turn to blander carbs, instead. “They provide the emotional sense of something calming at a time when you don’t want adventure, you want something familiar.”
If you’d like to help your diners satisfy their carb cravings, Marzetti® has plenty of ways to help.
New York Bakery® hearth-baked breadsticks, garlic toast and bread loaves combine European Old World flavor with modern convenience.
Sister Schubert’s® yeast rolls are made with the finest ingredients and no preservatives for uncompromised quality. They’re baked to perfection and then frozen fresh to make preparation fast and convenient.
Flatout® Flatbreads are available in a variety of flavors, shapes and textures. Used for wraps, pizzas and sandwiches, they’re a less-filling alternative to regular bread.
Made daily from fresh French bread in their own ovens, Marzetti® Croutons turn average salads into something special.
Creator of the frozen original egg noodle, Marzetti Frozen Pasta® has now expanded for foodservice applications into a wide variety of convenient precooked frozen pasta products that deliciously save time and labor.
Check out this article from New Scientist on complex carbohydrate research at Oregon State University
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