Gluten intolerance and wheat allergy are becoming more prevalent in the American population. Treatment for either condition is complete avoidance of wheat- and gluten-containing products. Little work has been performed on gluten-free (GF) fried foods, such as donuts. Thus, this study examined instrumental and sensory properties of GF yeast donuts in comparison to wheat yeast donuts. Eight different GF donut formulations were evaluated via instrumental and sensory analysis. Statistical analysis (α = 0.05) showed that most GF donuts had significantly lower fat content (26.3–32.2%) than the wheat control (33.7%). A higher ratio of commercial GF flour to rice flour resulted in higher fat content and mechanical properties closer to those of the wheat control compared with a lower ratio. Although GF donuts had significantly lower sensory acceptance scores than wheat donuts, several formulations yielded GF donuts with similar instrumental properties and lower fat content than the wheat control.
This work yielded a gluten-free donut formulation that produced donuts with similar mechanical properties to wheat donuts, but with a lower fat content. These results show that gluten-free flours may be used in combination with wheat flour to produce donuts with lower fat content without adversely affecting the mechanical properties of the donuts. In addition, a commercial gluten-free donut product is not currently available, and this work makes strides toward a final formulation for this type of product.