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!
Organ-on-a-chip mimics heart's biomechanical properties
23.02.2017 | Vanderbilt University
Researchers identify cause of hereditary skeletal muscle disorder
22.02.2017 | Klinikum der Universität München
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
24.02.2017 | Earth Sciences
24.02.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
24.02.2017 | Life Sciences