Rye bread in Sweden : Health-related and sensory qualities, consumer perceptions and consumption patterns

Sammanfattning: Rye bread has shown potential as a health-beneficial component in the diet, especially in relation to non-communicable diseases. To have a beneficial effect in reality, however, it also needs to be available, chosen and eaten. Less research has focused on rye bread from a consumer perspective. The main aim was to investigate consumption patterns, health-related and sensory qualities and consumer perceptions of bread, more specifically commercial rye bread. In Study I, secondary analysis was performed on bread consumption data from a national dietary survey (n=1,435, 18-80 years). In Study II, commercial rye breads (n=24) were characterized by sensory descriptive analysis; the in vitro measurement fluidity index (FI) was used to predict glycemic properties, and chemical acidity was measured. Study III was a consumer test (n=398, 18-80 years), where acceptance and perceptions of nine rye breads were investigated. Study IV was a web-based and postal sequential mixed-mode survey (n=1,134, 18-80 years) with open-ended items covering health-related perceptions of bread. Consumers with the lowest intake of whole grain and rye bread were from younger age groups, families with children and groups with lower educational levels. Health-related and sensory properties of commercial rye bread varied widely. The FI indicated more beneficial glycemic properties in half of the samples and this was associated with a chewy, dry texture and sour flavor. The younger consumer group (18-44 years) differed in their liking compared to the older group (45-80 years) and displayed a preference toward bread with less whole grain and rye, although different clusters were identified. Rye bread liking was associated with bread type consumed in childhood, food choice motives and educational level. Most (75%) knew of bread they considered healthy. Coarse, whole grain, fiber, sourdough and rye were perceived to be good for the stomach, bowel and, to have good satiation and glycemic properties. Few health claims have been authorized, making it challenging for consumers to identify bread with these properties. Front-of-package label indicating rye bread was sometimes found on breads with very little rye flour. Sensory attributes, foremost textural and flavor, e.g., sourness, correlated with beneficial FI values and could thereby help guide consumers.