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Alicia Jackson 912638199 12/7/15

Reproduction of a Gas Station Banana Nut Muffin

Alicia Jackson
December 7, 2015
HTM352 Fall 2015
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While everyone loves muffins, our idea of what a muffin is has gotten far away from its
original intention. A muffin is supposed to be an individual sized quick bread, similar in taste and
texture to a regular loaf of bread, but smaller and usually with fruits or nuts added. Initially
meant to have nutritional value with fiber, protein, and our needed carbohydrates, it has now
turned into another empty calorie food that we should stay away from. The muffin has evolved
into large cupcakes which we still label as muffins to make the consumer believe that they are
still making a healthier food choice. We no longer have to go to a bakery or grocery store to find
them either, they can be found packaged at most gas station and convenience stores.
Bon Appetit is a brand that produces one of the most common pastries seen in gas sta-
tions and convenience stores. While claiming to have wholesome ingredients, these pastries are
made with a long list of chemical additives the average consumer can not pronounce let alone
understand. I saw their brand of Banana Nut Muffin at a Chevron Gas Station as I was about to
start a road trip to Los Angeles, and saw this brand of pastries at many of the gas stations and
convenience stores that I had stopped at along the way. Initially thinking that the muffin and my
tea were a good breakfast to start my drive, I was shocked when I had turned over the muffin to
see the nutritional facts and ingredients. Seeing as most people do not like to read the nutritional
facts on their food the average consumer of this muffin would eat the entire thing in one sitting,
not knowing that the serving size is 1/3 of a muffin. This means that an entire muffin is 600kcal,
not a healthy choice at all.

Discussion of Ingredients/Recipe Adjustments

After understanding what was in the muffin I had purchased, it was clear that there had to
be a healthier way to enjoy banana nut muffins. Seeing as the average consumer would eat the
entire muffin in one sitting, this would mean that they are consuming 600kcal, 300kcal from fat,
33g of fat in which 9g are saturated fats, 105mg of cholesterol, 420mg of sodium, 69g of carbo-
hydrates, and 39g of sugars. And with all the ingredients in them, eating one of these muffins
will only give the consumer 9g of protein and a baffling 0g of dietary fiber. So my main goals
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with recreating this product were to lower the calories, sodium and sugar intake, while increasing
the protein and dietary fiber amount.

Product Comparison
The original product was very sweet and tasted like a cupcake with artificial banana fla-
vor and some peanuts sprinkled on top. As one of my goals was to restore the muffin to its proper
texture and consistency, my muffin no longer tasted like a cupcake. And although smaller the
calorie comparison of eating two of muffins is still less than eating an entire Bon Appetite Ba-
nana Nut Muffin.
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Exhibit 1: Secondary Recipes Used to Compose Final Reproduction Recipe

Refrerance Recipe 1:
cup melted coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
cup maple syrup or honey
2 eggs, preferably at room temperature
1 cup packed mashed ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
cup milk of choice (I used almond milk)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
teaspoon salt
teaspoon cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling on top
1 cups white whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour
cup old-fashioned oats, plus more for sprinkling on top
1 teaspoon turbinado (raw) sugar or other granulated sugar, for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees Celsius). If necessary, grease 11 cups of your muffin
tin with butter or non-stick cooking spray (my pan is non-stick and didnt require any grease).
In a large bowl, beat the coconut oil and maple syrup or honey together with a whisk. Add eggs and beat
well. Mix in the mashed bananas and milk, followed by the baking soda, vanilla extract, salt and cinna-
Add the flour and oats to the bowl and mix with a large spoon, just until combined. If youd like to add
any additional mix-ins, like nuts, chocolate or dried fruit, fold them in now.
Divide the batter evenly between the 11 muffin cups, filling each cup about two-thirds full. Sprinkle the
tops of the muffins with a small amount of oats (about 1 tablespoon), followed by a light sprinkling of
sugar (about 1 teaspoon). Bake muffins for 23 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin
comes out clean.
Place the muffin tin on a cooling rack to cool. You might need to run a butter knife along the outer edge of
the muffins to loosen them from the pan. Enjoy muffins as is or with a spread of nut butter or regular but-
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Reference Recipe 2:
By Jennifer Segal, adapted from Food & Wine
Servings: 12 muffin

3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon honey, divided
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup mashed banana, from 1 large overripe banana
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup whole or low fat milk

Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray, then line with paper
liners (it is necessary to do both so that the muffin tops don't stick to pan).
In a small bowl, toss the nuts with 1 tablespoon of the honey and cinnamon until the nuts are evenly coat-
ed (obviously, it will be very sticky). Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter with the sugar and the remaining 1/3 cup of honey
until fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula if necessary. At medium
speed, add the eggs one at a time and beat until fully incorporated between additions. Beat in the banana
and vanilla until blended. (It will look grainy.) At low speed, beat in the dry ingredients in 2 batches, al-
ternating with the milk.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin (I like to use an ice cream scooper) and sprinkle with the nut
topping. Bake the muffins until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean,
about 30 minutes. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn them out onto a rack and let
cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.
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Exhibit 2: Final Recipe

Final Recipe for Banana Nut Muffins
cup melted coconut oil
3 medium sized bananas
2 eggs
1/3 cup honey
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
teaspoon salt
teaspoon cinnamon
1 cups Unbleached all-purpose flour
cup old-fashioned oats

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
My pan is non-stick and didnt require any grease, but if necessary, grease 12 cups of your muffin tin with
butter or non-stick cooking spray
In a large bowl, beat the coconut oil and honey together with a whisk. Add eggs and beat well. Mix in the
mashed bananas and milk, followed by the baking soda, vanilla extract, salt and cinnamon.
Add the flour and oats to the bowl and mix with a large spoon, just until combined. Now mix it the
chopped walnuts.
Pour the batter into the muffin pan and sprinkle with additional oats (optional).
Bake for 23-25min
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Exhibit 3: Photos of Final Product

Before Baking After Baking

After Sitting out for 5 Days

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Exhibit 4: Bon Appetit Banana Nut Muffin

bleached wheat flour enriched (niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, malted
barley flour, ascorbic acid, folic acid), granulated sugar, eggs, soybean oil, water, palm oil (with
mono & diglycerides, polysorbate 60, citric acid added as a preservative), banana puree, invert
sugar, dry milk, modified food starch, baking powder, potassium sorbate & sodium propionate
(added to preserve freshness), peanuts, salt, sodium stearoyl lactylate, D-glucono-1,5-lactone,
xanthan gum, guar gum, vanilla flavor, natural & artificial flavors.
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Serving Size: 1/3 muffin (1.83oz/52g)
Amount per Serving My Daily Value
Calories 200Kcal1 2%
Calories from Fat 100Kcal1 5%
Total Fat 11g 17%
Saturated Fat 3g 18%
Trans Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 35mg 12%
Sodium 140mg 6%
Potassium 0mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 10%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Sugars 13g 30%
Protein 3g 6%
Vitamin A 0IU 0%
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 60mg 6%
Iron 0.72mg 4%
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Exhibit 5 - Details on Processed Food Ingredients

Why (do you think) did the

Ingredient Definition & General Commercial Uses manufacture use it?
1 Bleached Flour that has been enriched to replenish the base of the muffins, cheaper
Wheat Flour nutrients in the flour that were lost in process-
Enriched ing to match the nutritional status of the unre-
fined product.

2 Granulated Made by dissolving and purifying raw Sweetener for the muffins
Sugar sugar using phosphoric acid similar to the
method used for blanco directo, a car-
bonatation process involving calcium hy-
droxide and carbon dioxide, or by various
filtration strategies. It is then further puri-
fied by filtration through a bed of activat-
ed carbon or bone char. The grain size
about 0.5mm

3 Eggs Natural emulsifiers To combine the water and fat


4 Soybean Oil Soybean oil is a vegetable oil extracted from It is the cheapest oil. It also
the seeds of the soybean. It makes the texture helps extend shelf life of
more tender and rich in flavor. muffins.
5 Water water is used to help develop the gluten in the to hydrate the gluten

6 Palm oil a type of edible vegetable oil that is derived To make the muffins creamier
from the palm fruit, grown on the African oil in texture.
palm tree. Semi-solid at room temperature,
palm oil is used to give baked goods a
creamy taste and texture.
7 Banana puree pureed bananas To add the banana flavor to the

8 Invert Sugar Inverted or invert sugar syrup is a mixture of Another sweetener which will
glucose and fructose; it is obtained by split- have less crystals.
ting sucrose into these two components. due
to its high content of fructose in comparison
to common sugar, it crystallises less quickly.
It therefore is used when sugar crystals are
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9 Dry milk Evaporated Milk. Milk contains an enzyme Adding milk to batter helps
called glutathione which can weaken gluten
and result in a poorer quality loaf - the drying keep baked goods moist, dry
process destroys this enzyme. Milk contains milk keeps the gluten in the
the sugar lactose, which bonds with flour
proteins and hinders gluten formation. muffin from becoming too
10 Modified Made by physically, enzymatically or chemi- So the muffins can stand tem-
Food Starch cally altering starch to change its inherent perature changes during ship-
properties The ability to stand different tem- ping and extend their shelf life
peratures (excessive heat, freezing, etc), in- in stores
crease the shelf life of the desired property,
alter their thickening ability and shorten the
thickening time.

11 Baking Pow- Baking powder is a dry chemical leavening Acts as a leavening agent in the
der agent, a mixture of a carbonate or bicarbonate muffins.
and a weak acid, and is used for increasing
the volume and lightening the texture of
baked goods.

12 Potassium A potassium salt of Sorbic Acid, a naturally added to preserve freshness,

Sorbate occurring antimicrobial compound. it is used ingredient fragrance (banana
as a preservative taste/smell). Also to keept
muffins from going bad (grow-
ing bacteria) on shelves.
13 Sodium Pro- It is an effective inhibitor of the growth of added to preserve freshness
pionate certain molds and some bacteria in bakery and stop bacterial and mold
goods. growth on shelves

14 Peanuts The nut portion of the banana

nut muffin
15 Salt Also known as Sodium Chloride (NaCl). It is Added to preserve flavor and
often added to processed foods, where it freshness
functions as both a preservative and a flavor-

16 Sodium It is a sodium salk of the stearic acid ester of Emulsifying Agent

Stearoyl dactyl lactate. It is used as a dough strength-
Lactylate ener, emulsifier, or proc acid in baked prod-
17 D- An aldono-1,5-lactone obtained from D-glu- Could be used as a leavening
glucono-1,5- conic acid. It is also known as gluconolac- agent in the muffins, also could
lactone tone, a food additive used as an acidifier, or a be used for flavor.
curing, pickling, or leavening agent. It is neu-
tral, but hydrolyses in water to gluconic acid
which is acidic, adding a tangy taste to foods.
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18 xanthan gum Xanthan gum is a polysaccharide, derived They used it as a thickener to

from the Xanthomonas campestris bacterium increase the viscosity of the
which is allowed to ferment on a sugar. This muffin batter.
results in a gel that is then dried and milled to
create the powder substance.First, it works as
an emulsifier, encouraging liquids that nor-
mally don't like one another to mix together.
Second, it works as thickener, increasing the
viscosity of liquids and batters. Third, it can
create a creamy texture.

19 guar gum A white flour-like substance made from the It would be used as a binder in
ground seeds of an East Indian tree. It has 8 the muffin, as well as a thick-
times the thickening power of cornstarch and ening agent to the batter.
is used as a binder in baked goods.
20 vanilla flavor usually a combination of imitation vanilla and Used to give vanilla flavor,
pure vanilla extract. cheaper that pure vanilla ex-
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Invert sugar syrup. (2007, November 21). Retrieved December 7, 2015, from

Parke, S., Birch, G., MacDougall, D., & Stevens, D. (n.d.). Tastes, Structure and Solution Proper-
ties of D-Glucono-1,5-lactone. Retrieved December 7, 2015, from http://chemse.oxfordjournal-

Stockton, C. (2012, May 16). Modified Food Starch Demystified. Retrieved December 7, 2015,

Food Additive Status List. (2014, December 16). Retrieved December 7, 2015, from http://

Sandhu, G., Simsek, S., & Manthey, F. (2014). Effect of Guar Gum on Processing and Cooking
Quality of Nontraditional Pasta. Journal of Food Process Engineering J Food Process Eng,