Increased protein and fibre in flat breads

Tuesday, 08 June, 2010

South Dakota State University food scientist Padu Krishnan claims that distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) can help improve human nutrition worldwide. DDGS is produced as a co-product when corn is processed into ethanol.

Krishnan and his student, Sowmya Arra, worked with Kurt Rosentrater of the USDA Agricultural Research Service’s North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory on the project. In lab studies they found that using DDGS to make up 10% of the dough in chapattis - Asian whole wheat unleavened bread eaten in South Asia and East Africa - boosted the fibre from 2.9% to 7.8%. Using 20% DDGS in the dough increased the fibre to 10.3%.

Similarly, protein increased from 10.5 to 12.9% when they used DDGS to make up 10% of the dough in chapatti. Using 20% DDGS increased the protein to 15.3%.

In the United States, DDGS is most often fed to livestock. But Krishnan, a cereal chemist, has been studying and writing about the possibility of using DDGS in human diets since the early 1990s. Especially now with new state-of-the-art ethanol plants coming online in recent years, Krishnan said, the ethanol industry is well poised to make food-grade DDGS.

DDGS is ideal for inclusion in human diets because it is rich in dietary fibre, at 40%, and also in protein, at 36.8%.

Krishnan said the results from the South Dakota State lab studies were enough to catch the attention of the food industry because it suggests a strategy to bolster diets with a bland but highly nutritious ingredient that won’t interfere with the taste of foods. Chapattis and naan, another kind of flatbread, made with 20% DDG were well accepted by a taste panel.

Adding DDGS to the dough did make chapattis significantly darker, particularly at the 20% substitution, Krishnan noted.

Krishnan used flour from white winter wheat developed by South Dakota State University plant breeders in his experiments. He used DDGS supplied by VeraSun Energy and dough additives from MGP Ingredients.

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