Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


K-State researcher working on a way to make snack foods with extra fiber

Trying to get more fiber in your diet" Munching on cookies or tortillas probably doesn't come to mind. But a Kansas State University researcher is experimenting with ways to add fiber to the foods we love without changing what we like about our favorite snacks.

Sajid Alavi is an assistant professor of grain science and industry at K-State's College of Agriculture. His expertise is in extrusion processing, which is used to make products from cheese puffs to pet food. Alavi is researching how this process can be used to make fiber-enriched flour taste like the kind used in most cookies and tortillas so that manufacturers can make a more healthful snacking alternative that consumers want to eat.

Alavi notes the increasing problem of obesity and how it can lead to diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other ailments.

"That's where there's a big push for whole grains and fiber," he said. "There's interest in making healthier foods."

Funded by a one-year, $30,000 grant from the Kansas Wheat Commission, Alavi and researchers created flour enriched with varying levels of bran. They mixed the bran-enriched wheat flour with water using a standing mixer like the one cooks may use at home, and they let the dough sit overnight. The hydrated flour was then sent through a machine called an extrusion processor. The processor uses a series of rotating screws and heated barrels to precook the flour before it is pushed out of the end. After ropes of the dough come out, they are taken to a drying oven or a freeze dryer, the latter of which Alavi said produced higher-quality flour. Then the dried ropes were ground back into flour, ready to use for baking.

"The more fiber you add, the more the dough quality deteriorates," Alavi said. "We're hoping this process will increase some of the properties of the flour. The foods might have a better physical quality."

The researchers worked with the bakery science lab at K-State's department of grain science and industry to produce cookies and tortillas made with bran-enriched flour that had been precooked using extrusion processing, and those that had bran-enriched flour that wasn't precooked. The team then worked with K-State's sensory analysis team to conduct taste tests. Subjects were offered vouchers for K-State's Call Hall ice cream in exchange for tasting and comparing the regular snacks and their bran-enriched counterparts.

The snackers reported liking cookies and tortillas made with enriched bran, whether precooked or not. However, the precooked flour did have an increased level of soluble dietary fiber -- the kind the body can absorb readily.

Alavi said researchers didn't necessarily get better properties with extruded flour. In the future, he said researchers could look at extruding the bran separately from the flour.

Alavi said snack food producers may be able to use this precooking method to add fruits and vegetables to snack foods.

"With fruit- and vegetable-based snacks, it's still hard to process the dough, so you really don't see those kinds of products out there," he said.

Sajid Alavi | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIH scientists describe potential antibody treatment for multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae
14.03.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

nachricht Researchers identify key step in viral replication
13.03.2018 | University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>