This could be a tasty new option for coeliac patients.
If you’re among the one in 100 Australians who are affected by coeliac disease, there could be a new gluten-free pasta option on the market. Researchers from the University of Brasilia have developed a new type of gluten-free pasta using egg whites, water, gums, and a surprise ingredient: green banana flour.
The end product not only contains less fat and is cheaper to produce than standard wheat pasta, it has also passed a taste test against a standard wheat pasta. There was no significant difference between the modified pasta and standard samples in terms of appearance, aroma, flavour, and overall quality, according to Renata Puppin Zandonadi, lead author of the study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
“Green bananas are considered a sub-product of low commercial value with little industrial use,” she said in a statement. “For banana growers and pasta product makers, there is the possibility of diversifying and expanding their market.”
The combination of ingredients increased the protein value, which can be compromised by gluten removal and affects some of the sensory characteristics of the pasta. The fat content was also decreased by 98 per cent — an important factor for coeliac patients as gluten-free products often contain high levels of lipids.
The researchers then put the pasta to the taste test, allowing 25 coeliac patients and 50 people gluten tolerant to compare the pasta to one that had been made from wheat flour and whole eggs. Both groups preferred the aroma, texture and flavour of the modified pasta, suggesting that it could be marketed to people without coeliac disease.
“Considering that untreated celiac disease promotes cancer in intestinal cells and a highly inflammatory mucosal status, developing gluten-free products with bioactive compounds such as the ones present in green banana flour is important for coeliac disease patients,” Zandonadi concludes. ”Patients will benefit from ingesting a product with a better nutritional profile made from an ingredient that is produced and consumed throughout the world.”
The pasta could also have other health benefits — in 2009, scientists from the Centro de Desarrollo de Productos BiÃ³ticos del IPN in Mexico suggested adding green banana flour to pasta to increase the fibre in our diets. They also revealed in the study, published in the Journal of Food Science, that banana flour was a good source of antioxidants.
Source: Eureka Alert