Honors College Theses

Publication Date



Nutrition & Food Science (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Faculty Mentor

Joelle Romanchik-Cerpovicz


Kudzu is an invasive, tuberous vine growing in the southeast US. Kudzu root is 14-35% starch and has been used in China for home cooking by various methods. In the US, the use of kudzu starch is limited. This study compared standing height, percent moisture, and nutrient composition of gluten-free chocolate cake prepared with a kudzu starch-thickened aqueous mixture to similar gluten-free chocolate cake prepared with water or gluten-containing chocolate cake (controls). The standing height for control wheat flour cake (CW) was 47.4±1.3mm, the control rice flour cake (CR) was 36.1±1.1mm, wheat flour cake with kudzu (KW) was 49.5±0.3mm, and the rice flour cake with kudzu (KR) was 40.3±0.5mm. The results indicated that adding kudzu starch to either wheat or rice flour cake resulted in significant increases in heights compared to similar flour cake prepared without kudzu starch. The percent moisture of KW compared to CW was significantly higher (P This suggests that kudzu starch can be used increase or maintain the standing height of cake while minimally changing the moisture content of the cakes. The nutritional composition of the cakes did not significantly differ in protein and fat, but the carbohydrates were higher in the kudzu containing cakes compared to the controls. This study shows that the addition of kudzu can help maintain or improve texture of gluten-free cakes. Future studies will examine consumer acceptability of the cakes.

Thesis Summary

Kudzu starch was used in gluten-free chocolate cake to determine the abilities to maintain or improve the textural and properties of gluten-free baked goods.