Whole wheat flour contains more fiber and compounds called phyto-chemicals that can help reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, etc. But what is it in whole wheat flour and bread that suppresses the 2AP aromas?
The answer is, ferulic acid, which is normally bound to wheat’s cell walls but is set free during fermentation and baking. Only after it is liberated does it begin to alter the flavor and smell of bread.
In fact, when ferulic acid is added to refined grain bread, aroma resembled that of whole wheat bread. Ferulic acid appears to suppress the compound 2AP, which is the most important molecule behind whole wheat bread’s unique smells.
Scientists are playing with ferulic acid to test it and by minimizing the liberation of ferulic acid during baking, it could be possible to alter the taste of the final result. Eventually making whole-grain bread that is more satisfying to people who prefer white loaves.