Rice is an important commodity in Louisiana and throughout the world. During the milling process, about 15% of rice kernels become broken. Louisiana produced approximately 2,011,000 hundred weights of broken rice kernels in 2002. Converting broken rice into rice-based products adds dollars back to broken rice. The market potential for rice in processed foods is huge. In the refrigerated and frozen baked foods category, it is approximately $14.3 billion; while in the baked snack foods and wholesale bakery foods category, it is approximately $31.4 billion. Approximately 1-2% of the United States population suffers from Celiac Spruce Disease, which is a result of the malabsorption of certain proteins in the diet, specifically gluten. Gluten can be found in almost all cereal grains, including wheat, rye, oat, and barley. Rice, however, does not contain gluten, which makes it an ideal food for individuals with this disease.
A butter cake product was formulated using predominantly rice flour. Consumer studies were performed to determine 1) attributes critical to product acceptance and purchase decision, 2) the optimal formulation of the butter cake product, and 3) whether or not consumers were able to correctly differentiate between butter cake samples made either from wheat, rice, or a mixture (50:50) of wheat and rice. Logistic regression analyses identified overall liking, taste and texture as attributes critical to overall acceptance and purchase decision. Predictive discriminant analysis also identified if overall liking, taste, moistness, and texture contribute significantly to overall differences among the three butter cake formulations. Superimposition of the optimal response surface areas of overall liking, taste and texture revealed that formulations containing 50-95% wheat, 0-50% rice and 0-40% pre-gelatinized rice flours would yield a product with acceptability scores greater than 6.0. Consumers were able to correctly discriminate between the different formulations of butter cake (100% rice flour, 50/50 wheat/rice flours) when compared to the labeled control formulation containing 100% wheat. Consumers would be willing to compromise certain attributes in order to gain a potential health benefit from consuming this product, especially if they are not able to consume wheat products.