Academic journal article Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences

A Serving of Vegetables in Pizza? Evaluating the Nutritional Value and Likeability of Pizza Crust with the Addition of Zucchini or Cauliflower

Academic journal article Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences

A Serving of Vegetables in Pizza? Evaluating the Nutritional Value and Likeability of Pizza Crust with the Addition of Zucchini or Cauliflower

Article excerpt

Dietary guidelines are recommended to meet nutrient requirements and prevent future disease (Jansen et al., 2004). It is recommended that adults consume five servings of fruits and vegetables each day, but most consumers do not meet the daily requirements (George, Niwat, Waroonphan, Gordon, & Lovegrove, 2009), which may be due to price, lack of initiative, taste, and lack of time (Figueira, Lopes, & Modena, 2016). This is concerning because regular consumption of a variety of fruits and vegetables lowers the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer, and also helps improve overall health (Liu, 2004).

One effective way to increase fruit and vegetable consumption may be to add them to already accepted food products. It has been recommended that nutritional advances in food products should focus on making nutrient dense and tasty products (Blatt, Roe, & Rolls, 2011; Glanz, Basil, Maibach, Goldberg, & Snyder, 1998). Vegetables, including carrots, Irish potatoes, pumpkin, and sweet potato have been added to bread products for quite some time (Caballero, Trugo, & Finglas, 2003). Other common vegetable additions for bread products found on popular websites and in recipe books include zucchini and cauliflower, though these recipes may not have been evaluated empirically for likeability, and may not provide a meaningful serving of vegetables. In this study, the objective was to incorporate vegetables to an existing recipe to increase nutritional value and make the fruit and vegetable recommendation feasible for the general population.


The main ingredients for yeast dough are flour, liquid, yeast, and salt (Caballero et al., 2003). The liquid to flour ratio varies by the ingredients used in the recipe, and, with the inclusion of heat, can alter gelatinization (Houchins, 2014). The incorporation of fruit and vegetables adds more moisture and can change the viscosity of the starch (Houchins, 2014). However, the addition of fruits and vegetables increases moisture, producing more flour necessary for gelatinization, thus requiring more manipulation to knead the dough, and causing more gluten formation. This extra manipulation helps to mix and disperse the yeast cells throughout the dough, which will inflate during the rise time and will cause the final product to be smooth, elastic, and spongy (Houchins, 2014).

It is common for researchers to focus on incorporating pureed fruits into baked goods, such as cakes and cookies, with the purpose of lowering the fat and calories of a food product rather than increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables among consumers. For example, one study found that when a fruit puree was used as a fat substitute in peanut butter, oatmeal, and chocolate chip cookies, the taste and texture of the cookie can be maintained and is comparable to that of a control cookie (Swanson & Munsayac, 1999). Similarly, other studies have found that fruit purees using dates (Manickavasagan, Mathew, Al-Attabi, & AlZakwani, 2013) prunes (Swanson & Perry, 2007), or pawpaw fruit (Wiese & Duffrin, 2003) can be used as a partial sugar substitute in baked goods.

Previous research has evaluated the incorporation of whole or pureed vegetables into entrees but not specifically in pizza. For example, increasing pureed carrots in a carrot bread improved ratings of pleasantness of taste and texture, and increasing pureed squash in a macaroni and cheese recipe produced similar ratings of pleasantness as the control (Blatt et al., 2011). Unfortunately, in both of these formulations, although the grams of vegetables incorporated was increased dramatically, less than one half of a vegetable serving was provided in each food item even at the highest level of vegetable incorporation. Conversely, a study among children successfully increased vegetable intake without compromising palatability. Specifically, the authors found that incorporating a combination of vegetables, including cauliflower, broccoli, and squash, into lunch and dinner entrees did not influence the palatability ratings of the food item (Spill, Birch, Roe, & Rolls, 2011). …

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