Development of Nankhatai - A Nutrient Rich Gluten Free Food
The present study attempted to develop a nutrient rich, low cost gluten free snacknankhatai - a baked traditional authentic sweet, for patients suffering from gluten sensitivity and celiac disease, using finger millets and legume flours in different proportions to the standard recipe in order to provide a healthy alternative to the health conscious individuals and celiac patients. These grains were selected for their balanced nutritional profile and being gluten free, as a lifelong adherence to gluten free diet is the only available treatment for celiac patients. Nankhatai were prepared by incorporating Ragi (finger millet) and Besan (chickpea flour) in different proportions. Three sample products were prepared from the flour blends: Chickpea (Besan) flour (BF) and Ragi flour (RF) by mixing them in the percentage proportions: 100:00, 90:10 and 75:25 (BF:RF, BF:RF, BF:RF). The nankhatais so formulated were evaluated for their nutrient content viz. moisture, ash, fibre, carbohydrates, fat, protein, calcium and iron. Sensory analysis, on a 9- point hedonic scale was also performed to assess their acceptability. The nutritional evaluation showed significant difference in nutrient content, an increase in nutritive value was observed with increase in proportion of chickpea flour. The result of the sensory evaluation revealed that sample “AA”(BF:RF=100:00) was most acceptable with a score of 7.37, closely followed by sample “AB” (BF:RF=90:10) with a score of 7.27 while “AC” (BF:RF=75:25) was least acceptable with a score of 6.61 and it is also a cost effective product. Nankhatais showed high protein content 4.08%, also their calcium and iron content were significantly high at 8.13% and 4%, respectively. Nutrient and sensory analysis reveal that the baked product can be introduced as a healthy snack for celiac patients as well as for weight watchers and individuals suffering from diabetes.This value added product had high protein and mineral content, especially, calcium and iron content were significant. This health promoting functional food product serves as an ideal snack for celiac patients, ensuring well being of people suffering from gluten intolerance.
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