BREAD STALING. Pavinee Chinachoti and Yael Vodovotz. CRC Press LLC, 2000 N.W. Corporate Blvd., Boca Raton, FL 33431. ISBN: 0-8493-8790-6. 2001. 177 pp. No price given.

Bread staling has been a problem for thousands of years. We are only now beginning to understand the complex chemical reactions and physical changes involved in this process. If you need a thorough primer on the polymer science aspects of staling, this is the book for you.

The first chapter, “Mechanism of Staling: An Overview,” gives a good introduction to the topic and sets the stage for the chapters that follow. One of the points made in the first chapter and echoed throughout later chapters is the essential role of water (and other plasticizers) in staling. Ensuing chapters cover plasticization (where the concept of dough as an interpenetrating polymer network is introduced), the macromolecular aspects of bread staling (including glass transition temperature), and rheological behavior of wheat flour dough.

Chapter 5 is a particularly useful overview of instrumental techniques used in studying staling, including microscopic, thermal, and nuclear magnetic resonance methods. Chapters 6 and 7 expand on the NMR techniques and thermomechanical properties of starch-based products.

Probably the most readable chapter for the beginner is Chapter 8, which concerns bread microstructure and presents the composition of bread and the importance of both starch and gluten-forming proteins, starting with the bread dough and proceeding through fermentation and baking. The final chapter on the kinetics of starch retrogradation is an excellent presentation of this topic and details the effects of both temperature and water content on retrogradation rate.

All of the chapters are adequately referenced, averaging 55 citations per chapter, and most of these are recent. Overall, this is an excellently done volume remarkably free from proofreading errors. If you are looking for an introduction to bread staling from the food science polymer point of view, this volume will serve you quite well.

—James R. Daniel , Associate Professor of Food Chemistry, Department of Foods and Nutrition, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind.

A Passion for Sharing and Caring. Wilbur A. Gould. CTI Publications Inc., 2 Oakway Road, Timonium, MD 21093-4247. Phone 410-308-2080, fax 410-308-2079, or ISBN 0-930027-31-0. 2000.132 pp. $86.

Active Packaging for Food Applications. Aaron L. Brody, Eugene R. Strupinsky, and Lauri R. Kline, eds. Technomic Publishing Co. Inc., 851 New Holland Ave., Box 3535, Lancaster, PA 17604. Phone 800-233-9936 or fax 717-295-4538. ISBN 1-58716-045-5. 2001. 218 pp. No price given.

Advanced Drying Technologies. Tadeusz Kudra and Arun S. Mujumdar, eds. Marcel Dekker Inc., 270 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016. Phone 212-696-9000 or fax 212-685-4540. ISBN 0-8247-9618-7. 2002. 459 pp. No price given.