Open Nature - Glossary

Glossary Q-Z
Quinoa: Quinoa (pronounced [KEEN-wah]) is a small bead-like seed from a plant grown in western South America, and was a staple food of the Incas. This mild-flavored seed varies in color, from pale-yellow to red to black. Quinoa is gluten-free, a good source of dietary fiber, and high in protein, magnesium and iron. It is added in breads to provide a whole grain component.

Rennet: Rennet is an enzyme that occurs naturally in the fourth stomach of a calf. It is used in cheese-making to curdle milk and make it into cheese.

Rye Meal: Rye meal is the coarsely ground rye grain, a cereal grain closely related to wheat. Rye meal is used in rye bread, dense breads and crisp breads.

S. Thermophilus: S. Thermophilus is a beneficial bacteria used often together with L. acidophilus and L. bulgaricus in the production of yogurt. It breaks down lactose (milk sugar) in milk, causing yogurt to have a sour flavor.

Sorghum: Sorghum (pronounced [SOR-guhm]) is the third most important cereal crop grown in the United States. It has a neutral taste, is gluten-free, and is used in food products such as breads, cookies, cakes and couscous.

Soy Lecithin: Soy lecithin is a group of fat-like substances found naturally in soybean oil. It has many uses in foods including: helping to evenly distribute ingredients in dough; protecting yeast cells in dough when frozen; helping with fermentation; and increasing the volume of bakery products. It also acts as an emulsifier, keeping the cocoa and cocoa butter in a candy bar from separating.

Spelt: Spelt is an ancient cereal grain originating in Europe. It is more flavorful than wheat and has a slightly higher protein content, and is used in cereals and breads.

Spice Extractives: Spice extractives are the evaporated oils of spices that are dissolved in an alcohol base. They are very concentrated flavors, so very small amounts are needed to flavor foods such as baked goods and desserts.

Stabilizer: Stabilizers are substances added to foods to prevent the separation of fat and water and the loss of desirable properties.

Tapioca Dextrin: Tapioca dextrin is a gummy substance obtained from the breakdown of tapioca starch with heat and acids. It is commonly used to enhance the crispness of batters, coatings and glazes.

Teff: Teff is a very small (about 1/32" in diameter) cereal grain native to Ethiopia in Northeast Africa. This sweet, nut-flavored grain is high in dietary fiber and iron and provides protein and calcium. It is added in breads to provide a whole grain component and is sometimes eaten as a hot breakfast cereal.

Triticale: Triticale (pronounced [triht-ih-KAY-lee]) is a grain resulting from the cross between wheat and rye. It contains more protein and less gluten than wheat and has a sweet, nutty flavor. Triticale can be used in breads, cereals, casserole, and pilaf-style dishes.

Turbinado Sugar: Turbinado (pronounced [tur-bih-NAH-doh]) sugar is a semi-refined, light brown, coarse crystalline sugar with a molasses flavor. It gets its name from the method used in making it: sugar cane juice is evaporated and spun in a turbine or centrifuge to remove most of the molasses and to produce large crystals. It can be used as a sweetener to replace table sugar in coffee and tea or as a topping for cookies, cakes, muffins, and pies.

Turmeric: Extractive of turmeric (pronounced [TER-muh-rihk]) is the evaporated oil of the root of a leafy plant (Curcuma longa) belonging to the ginger family. It has a bright yellow color and pungent bitter taste and is used to add color and flavor to curries, chicken dishes, and condiments such as mustard.

Unbleached Flour: Unbleached flour is flour without edible bleaching/whitening agents added, and is less white than bleached flour which is pure white since bleaching agents are added. Unbleached flour can be used in baking yeast breads, cream puffs, Danish pastries, and popovers.

Uncured All Natural Pepperoni: Pepperoni is a spicy Italian dry sausage usually made of pork and beef. It is sliced very thin and used as a pizza topping. Curing is a process that involves the addition of a combination of salt, sugar, nitrates or nitrites to meats or fish in order to preserve and develop flavors and desirable color. Uncured means that the meats do not have nitrates or nitrites added.

Vital Wheat Gluten: Vital wheat gluten (also called gluten powder or gluten flour) is the dried form of wet wheat gluten. It is added to bakery products to increase dough strength (e.g., durable pizza crust).

Wheat Gluten: Wheat gluten is the natural protein found in wheat flour that is responsible for the porous and spongy structure of breads. It is a sticky substance obtained by washing out the starch from wheat flour dough. Wheat gluten is added to breads to increase their chewiness.

Whey: Whey is the liquid that remains after milk has been curdled and strained during the process of cheese-making. It is used in many processed foods, including baked goods and ice cream, and contributes a source of lactose, milk solids, and protein. Whey can be further processed to make ricotta and brown cheeses.

Xanthan Gum: Xanthan gum is a carbohydrate produced from the fermentation of corn sugar by the bacterium Xanthomonas campestris, and is used as a thickener, emulsifier, and stabilizer in foods such as salad dressings and sauces.