Flatbreads on the Rise, What about their Nutritional Quality? The Current State of the Mediterranean Market

Main Article Content

Raquel Garzon Nicola Gasparre Antonella Pasqualone Maria Papageorgiou Tomislava Grgic Patricia Le-Bail Irene Mínguez Pablos Christelle El Tomb Christopher Magro Cristina M. Rosell


Flatbreads are increasingly attracting consumers, driving them to new eating ways. To define and evaluate the nutritional intake provided by these products, flatbreads market of seven Mediterranean countries (France, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Greece, Malta, and Lebanon) were considered. Flatbreads were available in both traditional and gluten-free versions, and in the single and doble layer variety. Wheat flour was the primary ingredient in both types, while sunflower and olive oil were the most used fats. Lebanese flatbread did not contain any fat. The Spanish market mostly featured one-layer flatbreads, such as tortillas and wraps, whereas pita appeared more frequently in Greece. Many Croatian flatbreads were not fermented. In comparison to gluten-containing flatbreads, the gluten-free version had a larger number of components listed on the labels. Blending flours with starches was the most common recipe. Hydrocolloids, emulsifiers, and fibers were added largely for technical reasons, but also to increase nutritional quality. Gluten-free flatbreads, on the other hand, were discovered to have lower fiber and protein content than their gluten-containing counterparts. Furthermore, their calorie value, as well as carbohydrate and salt content, were found to be lower.

Article Details

How to Cite
GARZON, Raquel et al. Flatbreads on the Rise, What about their Nutritional Quality? The Current State of the Mediterranean Market. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 10, n. 7, july 2022. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <https://esmed.org/MRA/mra/article/view/2920>. Date accessed: 08 aug. 2022. doi: https://doi.org/10.18103/mra.v10i7.2920.
Research Articles


1. AlliedMarketResearch. Europe Flatbread Market by Product Type (Focaccia, Tortilla, Pinsa Romana, Pita, Naan and Others), Distribution Channel (Food Service and Retail), and Nature (Ambient, Fresh, and Frozen): Europe Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2021-2027. Accessed April 14, 2022. https://www.alliedmarketresearch.com/europe-flatbread-market-A06726
2. Arranz-Otaegui A, Gonzalez Carretero L, Ramsey Monica N, Fuller Dorian Q, Richter T. Archaeobotanical evidence reveals the origins of bread 14,400 years ago in northeastern Jordan. PNAS. 2018;115(31):7925-7930. doi:10.1073/pnas.1801071115
3. Pasqualone A. Traditional flat breads spread from the Fertile Crescent: Production process and history of baking systems. J. Ethn. Foods. 2018;5(1):10-19. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jef.2018.02.002
4. Al‐Dmoor HM. Flat bread: ingredients and fortification. Qual. Assur. Saf. Crop. 2012;4(1):28. doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1757-837X.2011.00121.x
5. Parmentier AA. Avis aux bonnes ménagères des villes et des campagnes, sur la meilleure manière de faire leur pain. Imprimerie royale; 1777.
6. Reinhold JG. High phytate content of rural Iranian bread: a possible cause of human zinc deficiency. AJCN. 1971;24(10):1204-1206.
7. Kumar A. Chapatis and Related Products. In: Caballero B, Finglas PM, Toldrá F, eds. Encyclopedia of Food and Health. Academic Press; 2016:724-734.
8. Boukid F. Flatbread - A canvas for innovation: A review. Applied Food Research. 2022;2(1):100071. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.afres.2022.100071
9. Zurayk R, Rahman SA. From ‘Akkar to Amel’Lebanon's food trail. Beirut: Slow Food. 2008.
10. Serna-Saldivar SO, Chuck-Hernandez C. Food uses of lime-cooked corn with emphasis in tortillas and snacks. Corn. Elsevier; 2019:469-500. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-811971-6.00017-6
11. Parimala KR, Sudha ML. Wheat-based traditional flat breads of India. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2015;55(1):67-81. doi:10.1080/10408398.2011.647121
12. De Bellis P, Rizzello CG, Sisto A, et al. use of a selected leuconostoc citreum strain as a starter for making a “yeast-free” Bread. Foods. 2019;8(2). doi:10.3390/foods8020070
13. Gocmen D, Inkaya AN, Aydin E. Flat breads. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci.. 2009;15(4):298-306.
14. Seleem HA, Omran AA. Evaluation quality of one layer flat bread supplemented with beans and sorghum baked on hot metal surface. Nutr. Food Sci.2014;Vol.05 No.22:11. 52895. doi:10.4236/fns.2014.522238
15. Kumar P, Kaur C, Jambh HK. Rheological, textural, and technological modifications in wheat unleavened flatbread substituted with extruded finger millet. J. Texture Stud. 2021;52(3):400-409. doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/jtxs.12595
16. Piga A, Conte P, Fois S, et al. Technological, nutritional and sensory properties of an innovative gluten-free double-layered flat bread enriched with amaranth flour. Foods. 2021;10(5)doi:10.3390/foods10050920
17. El-Sohaimy SA, Shehata MG, Mehany T, Zeitoun MA. Nutritional, Physicochemical, and Sensorial Evaluation of Flat Bread Supplemented with Quinoa Flour. Int. J. Food Sci. 2019;2019:4686727. doi:10.1155/2019/4686727
18. Rendón-Villalobos R, Ortíz-Sánchez A, Solorza-Feria J, Trujillo-Hernández CA. Formulation, physicochemical, nutritional and sensorial evaluation of corn tortillas supplemented with chía seed (Salvia hispanica L.). Czech J. Food Sci. 2012;30(2):118-125. doi: https://doi.org/10.17221/393/2010-CJFS
19. Maya‐Cortés DC, Figueroa Cárdenas JdD, Garnica‐Romo MG, Cuevas-Villanueva, R.A., Cortés-Martínez, R., Véles-Medina, J.J. and Martínez-Flores, H.E. Whole‐grain corn tortilla prepared using an ecological nixtamalisation process and its impact on the nutritional value. Int. J. Food Sci. 2010;45(1):23-28. doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2621.2009.02095.x
20. Liu T, Hou GG, Cardin M, Marquart L, Dubat A. Quality attributes of whole-wheat flour tortillas with sprouted whole-wheat flour substitution. LWT. 2017;77:1-7. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lwt.2016.11.017
21. Ray M, Ghosh K, Singh S, Chandra Mondal K. Folk to functional: An explorative overview of rice-based fermented foods and beverages in India. J. Ethn. Foods. 2016;3(1):5-18. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jef.2016.02.002
22. Serka S, Getahun D, Abegaz K. Formulation and sensory acceptability of flat bread from kocho with broad bean (Vicia faba L.) and quality protein maize (Zea mays) flours. J. Food Sci. Technol. 2019;10(9)
23. Wani IA, Sogi DS, Sharma P, Gill BS. Physicochemical and pasting properties of unleavened wheat flat bread (Chapatti) as affected by addition of pulse flour. Cogent Food & Agriculture. 2016;2(1):1124486. doi:10.1080/23311932.2015.1124486
24. Liu J, Yu LL, Wu Y. Bioactive Components and health beneficial properties of whole wheat foods. J Agric Food Chem. 2020;68(46):12904-12915. doi:10.1021/acs.jafc.0c00705
25. Tebben L, Shen YT, Li YH. Improvers and functional ingredients in whole wheat bread: A review of their effects on dough properties and bread quality. Trends Food Sci Technol. 2018;81:10-24. doi:10.1016/j.tifs.2018.08.015
26. Sharma R, Sharma S, Makroo HA, Dar BN. Role of pulses to modulate the nutritive, bioactive and technological functionality of cereal-based extruded snacks: a review. Int J Food Sci Tech. 2021. doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/ijfs.15186.
27. Witczak M, Korus J, Ziobro R, Juszczak L. The effects of maltodextrins on gluten-free dough and quality of bread. J Food Eng. 2010;96(2):258-265. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jfoodeng.2009.07.022
28. WHO. Sodium intake for adults and children. Geneva. World Health Organization (WHO). 2012.
29. Matos ME, Rosell CM. Understanding gluten-free dough for reaching breads with physical quality and nutritional balance. J Sci Food Agric. 2015;95(4):653-661. doi:10.1002/jsfa.6732
30. Benavent-Gil Y, Rosell CM. Chapter 9 - technological and nutritional applications of starches in gluten-free Products. In: Silva Clerici MTP, Schmiele M, eds. Starches for Food Application. Academic Press; 2019:333-358.
31. Mir SA, Shah MA, Naik HR, Zargar IA. Influence of hydrocolloids on dough handling and technological properties of gluten-free breads. Trends Food Sci Technol. 2016;51:49-57. doi:10.1016/j.tifs.2016.03.005
32. Li J-M, Nie S-P. The functional and nutritional aspects of hydrocolloids in foods. Food Hydrocoll. 2016;53:46-61. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodhyd.2015.01.035.
33. Rosell CM, Rojas JA, Benedito de Barber C. Influence of hydrocolloids on dough rheology and bread quality. Food Hydrocoll. 2001;15(1):75-81. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0268-005X(00)00054-0
34. Drabińska N, Zieliński H, Krupa-Kozak U. Technological benefits of inulin-type fructans application in gluten-free products – A review. Trends Food Sci Technol. 2016;56:149-157. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tifs.2016.08.015
35. Djordjević M, Šoronja-Simović D, Nikolić I, Djordjević M, Šereš Z, Milašinović-Šeremešić M. Sugar beet and apple fibres coupled with hydroxypropylmethylcellulose as functional ingredients in gluten-free formulations: Rheological, technological and sensory aspects. Food Chem. 2019;295:189-197. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2019.05.066
36. Martínez MM, Díaz Á, Gómez M. Effect of different microstructural features of soluble and insoluble fibres on gluten-free dough rheology and bread-making. J Food Eng. 2014;142:49-56. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jfoodeng.2014.06.020
37. Skendi A, Papageorgiou M, Varzakas T. High protein substitutes for gluten in gluten-free bread. Foods. 2021;10(9).doi:10.3390/foods10091997
38. Zhou C-F, Qian P, Meng J, Gao S-M, Lu R-R. Effect of glycerol and sorbitol on the properties of dough and white bread. Cereal Chem. 2016;93(2):196-200. doi:https://doi.org/10.1094/CCHEM-04-15-0087-R.
39. Awuchi CG, Echeta KC. Current developments in sugar alcohols: Chemistry, nutrition, and health concerns of sorbitol, xylitol, glycerol, arabitol, inositol, maltitol, and lactitol. Int J Adv Acad Res. 2019;5:1-33.