Research Shows Great Promise for Millet Grains

17 Apr 2013 --- Climate change, water scarcity, increasing world population, and rising food prices are only some of the socioeconomic factors that threaten agriculture and food security worldwide, especially for disadvantaged populations that live in arid and sub-arid regions.

In the May issue of Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), researchers looked into how millet grains serve as a major food component for millions of people in these countries, as well as for people with special diet needs and those seeking foods high in nutrients.

As an important drought-resistant crop, millet is widely grown in Africa and parts of Asia and contributes a wide range of health benefits as well as a major source of carbohydrates and proteins for people living in those areas. Millet is also resistant to pests and diseases, has a short growing season, and high productivity under drought conditions compared to other major cereal grains.

In addition, millet’s importance as an ingredient in multigrain and gluten-free cereal products, breads, porridges, and snack foods are becoming a more popular commodity in North America and Europe, especially for those who suffer from Celiac disease.

Millet grains contain many health promoting components such as high contents of essential amino acids, unsaturated fatty acids, minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, and zinc, and vitamin B. Nutrient contents in millet grains were comparable with those of common consumed grains such as wheat, corn, and rice, which makes them suitable for large scale utilization in the preparation of several value-added and health food-products.

Several research studies show that diets rich in cereal grains, such as millet, can be protective against several degenerative diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. Millet grains are reported as having major anti-diabetic and antioxidant components that can be used in preparing various food products for diabetics. It has also been reported that consuming sorghum and millet lowers the incidence of esophageal cancer compared to those consuming other grains. Because they can be used as a natural source of antioxidants in food applications, millets make a great nutraceutical and functional food ingredient in health promotion and disease risk reduction.

Related Articles

Business News

DLG and Fairtrade enter into partnership for Africa

15 Nov 2017 --- The DLG (German Agricultural Society) and the German trade show specialist Fairtrade will work together on four central agricultural markets in Africa. This is what the two trade fair organizers have agreed to a cooperation agreement on the sidelines of AGRITECHNICA 2017 in Hanover. 

Food Ingredients News

Puratos launches new sourdough range based on natural fermentation

30 Oct 2017 --- Puratos has launched three new sourdough flavors based on natural fermentation, thanks to a recent investment to expand capacity and capabilities into its sourdough facility in Pennsauken, NJ. This investment and resulting products show Puratos’ commitment to innovation to answer consumer needs. 

Food Ingredients News

The snack factor: (Part 2) Popcorn sales pop as snack hailed authentic and guilt-free

12 Oct 2017 --- Popcorn is one of the smaller snacks sub-categories but one that has seen consistent growth in recent years, mainly as a result of the promotion of ready-to-eat popcorn as a convenient, tasty and better-for-you snack option, suitable for in-home consumption, particularly sharing social occasions, and for on-the-go snacks, as well as its more traditional popularity at cinemas and sporting events.

Food Ingredients News

Tate & Lyle eyes texture to maximize product likeability

03 Oct 2017 --- Earlier this year, Tate & Lyle PLC introduced of its tapioca-based CLARIA Bliss starch to the Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) region, responding to growing demand from consumers for cleaner label products. An extension to the line of CLARIA functional clean label starches, the launch of CLARIA Bliss in EMEA follows its debut at the Institute of Food Technologists Food Expo in Chicago last year.

Business News

Sequencing of millet genome offers hope for food security and climate change adaptation

20 Sep 2017 --- A study coordinated by an international consortium of France’s Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD), along with Indian and Chinese researchers, has enabled the genome sequence for millet to be obtained for the first time. This discovery improves the understanding of the organization and evolution of the genome of this cereal, which provides food security for the poorest people in the world, according to the IRD press release. 

 

More Articles