Unripe bananas may aid resistant starch food formulation

By Nathan Gray

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutrition

The addition of unripe banana flour to simple food and bakery formulations, such as in cookie preparations, could be a good way to formulate products with high levels of indigestible carbohydrates, according to new research.

The study, published in LWT - Food Science and Technology,​ investigated the formulation of cookies prepared with high amounts of low GI indigestible starch – in the form of unripe banana flour (UBF) – which could help to provide healthier products with that help to provide better blood sugar balance and lower calories.

“Several studies have suggested that consumption of unripe bananas provides a beneficial effect on human health, associated with indigestible components such as resistant starch,” ​noted the team of Mexican authors, led by Perla Osorio-Díaz from Centro de Desarrollo de Productos Bióticos del IPN, Mexixo.

“Cookies prepared with UBF presented important starch digestion characteristics and, therefore, could be a nutritional alternative for people with health problems such as diabetes and obesity,”​ they added.

Banana starch

Osorio-Díaz and his colleagues explained that global obesity, especially in children, is an important health public problem.

“This is of critical importance with children as juvenile obesity can convert into problems such as diabetes, coronary diseases, digestion malfunction, high cholesterol, etc,”​ said the researchers.

They noted a nutritional trend to reduce the consumption of glycemic carbohydrates in food products, and to increase the level of indigestible carbohydrates “or to increase the content of slowly digestible starch due to its beneficial effects.”

“Unripe banana flour has exhibited a nutritional/nutraceutical potential and represents an alternative source of indigestible carbohydrates and antioxidants compounds,”​ noted the research team. They said that several studies have suggested the consumption of unripe bananas could provide a beneficial effect on human health that is associated with indigestible components such as resistant starch.

The aim of the new study was to develop a cookie with unripe banana flour, using very few additional ingredients in the formulation, and evaluate its starch digestibility and potential for

Study details

Osorio-Díaz and his team prepared cookies by replacing wheat flour with unripe banana flour at 15, 30 and 50% replacement. The team then tested the composition and starch digestibility of the cookies and compared them to control cookies made with 100% wheat flour.

The authors reported that increasing levels of UBF led to increased moisture and dietary fibre content, but reduced protein and fat.

“Cookies added with UBF had lower rapidly digestible starch (RDS) than the control and RDS decreased when UBF increased in the cookie,”​ explained the researchers. “An increase in slowly digestible starch (SDS) was observed when the amount of UBF increased in the cookie.”

They added that such products (with high level of SDS) provide nutritional benefits in the supply of glucose, because these do not produce postprandial hyperglycemic and hyperinsulinemic spikes associated with the RDS consumption.

“Cookies prepared with UBF presented important characteristics of starch digestion therefore could be an alternative for people with special caloric requirements,”​ concluded the research team.

Source: LWT - Food Science and Technology
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.lwt.2011.10.010
“Starch digestibility and glycemic index of cookies partially substituted with unripe banana flour”
Authors: E. Agama-Acevedo, J.J. Islas-Hernández, G. Pacheco-Vargas, P. Osorio-Díaz, L. Arturo Bello-Pérez

Related topics: Science

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