Carotenoids are known to be superior quenchers of singlet oxygen. Thus, carotenoids, which are present in various vegetables, are widely thought to exert many health benefits and anti-aging effects. This study investigated the health effects of carotenoid and carotenoid-rich vegetable intake at each stage of life. Among carotenoids, the use of lycopene can be cost-prohibitive. Thus, attempts were made to extract lycopene from tomato skin using SC-CO2 (supercritical-carbon dioxide). Further, the carotenoid content, a potential antioxidant source, of 70 vegetables in Japan was determined by reversed-phase HPLC. These results were applied to the development of carrot juice and space food. Additionally, a new assay method to quantify the singlet oxygen absorption capacity (SOAC) of antioxidants, including carotenoids, and vegetable extracts was proposed.
The functional properties of a Japanese wheat cultivar were evaluated to improve the sensory and quality attributes of the grain. The functional properties of wheat flour milled from Triticum aestivum L. cv. Yumechikara grown in Hokkaido (Sample B) was compared to commercial bread flour milled from imported wheat (Sample A). Although the dough expansion of both samples was similar, the final bread product made from sample B showed a slightly decreased bread volume. In sensory evaluations performed using 48 panels, final products made using sample B had a higher overall preference, possibly due to the higher protein content and lower amylose content of the Yumechikara cultivar. The characteristics of Sample B appeared to be shown using the straight-dough procedure. Thus, while processing Yumechikara flour was more difficult, products made from this flour may achieve higher functionality for bread processing if the Yumechikara cultivar is used as the maternal line in breeding.
The ultimate objective in the research and development of rice flour bread is “The creation of ‘delicious’ bread by ‘skillfully’ preparing it with ‘superior’ rice flour.” The milling of rice flour involves a milling machine, which employs various, different milling principles for the milling of hard, granular, polished white rice. Besides roller milling, the percussive method, which crushes grains through collisions with pins, hammers, etc.; high-speed rotation; and air-flow jet milling, where rice grains mutually collide in air streams, are available methods for the milling of rice flour. The different milling principles have spawned diversity in rice flour, while grain size and the proportion of damaged starch have become indices for the characteristics of rice flour. The surface state of rice flour varies greatly according to the water absorption rate, and has an influence on flour characteristics in subsequent secondary processing. Characteristics as measured by farinograph and extensograph, amylose content, and the rice flour milling method affect the quality of the bread dough. Methods for evaluating texture distinctive to rice flour bread have been proposed. In a puncture test of rice flour bread, determining the extensibility past the rupture point is considered a promising candidate among such methods. The evaluation of water content dynamics in rice flour bread through magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is also a promising method for evaluating characterizing bread quality.