Effect of flax addition on the flavor profile and acceptability of bagels

J Food Sci. 2012 Jan;77(1):S62-70. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2011.02509.x.


Bakery products containing flaxseed, a rich source of alpha linolenic acid (ALA), may provide health benefits. However, the effect of adding flaxseed, especially in the high amounts required for use as the food supplement in clinical trials (23% by weight of the raw ingredients), may affect the flavor characteristics and consumer acceptability. Sensory attributes of bagels containing 30 g of milled flaxseed were evaluated by a 9 member trained panel using a descriptive test and by 89 participants using a consumer test. Grain/flax aroma and flavor were significantly higher for the flax bagels compared to the nonflax bagels. The cinnamon raisin bagel had significantly lower grain/flax aroma and flavor and significantly higher sweet aroma and taste compared to the plain and sunflower sesame types. Older consumers rated the appearance, color, and flavor of the bagels significantly higher than the younger consumers possibly leading to higher compliance in clinical studies for this age group. Bagels with flax showed a significantly lower mean value for flavor acceptability, overall acceptability, and frequency of eating compared to bagels without flax. Appearance, color, and texture acceptability showed no significant differences. The cinnamon raisin bagel had significantly higher flavor acceptance compared to sunflower sesame and plain bagels. In conclusion, for bagels containing 6 g ALA in the form of milled flaxseed, cinnamon raisin appears to be a promising flavoring alternative for ALA fortification for use in clinical trials or as part of the daily diet.

Practical application: Consumers are seeking functional foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids. Bagels made with 23% milled flaxseed (approximately 2 times the amount in regular flax baked products) provided 6 g ALA, an amount high enough to test the efficacy of ALA in human subjects without causing gastrointestinal distress. This study showed that flaxseed aroma and flavor were detected in fortified compared to nonfortified bagels but bagels with this high flaxseed amount were still acceptable with the addition of cinnamon raisin flavoring. Commercial bakeries can use these results to formulate healthy, tasty, and convenient products.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Bread / analysis*
  • Chemical Phenomena
  • Color
  • Consumer Behavior*
  • Female
  • Flax / chemistry*
  • Food Preferences*
  • Food, Fortified / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Manitoba
  • Mechanical Phenomena
  • Middle Aged
  • Odorants
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Seeds / chemistry*
  • Sensation
  • Taste
  • Young Adult
  • alpha-Linolenic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • alpha-Linolenic Acid / chemistry


  • alpha-Linolenic Acid