Extrusion technology improves food security in Africa

Apr 22, 2014 by Mindy Weinstein

In the April issue of Food Technology magazine, published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), contributing authors write about how extrusion technology is a powerful food processing technique that can produce a variety of products made from locally grown grains, cereals and legumes while maintaining nutrient content and fighting off unsafe contaminants.

The grown in Africa including sorghum, millet, rice, maize, fonio and tef are predominantly used for main staple meals but are limited in protein quantity and quality as well as essential nutrients. However, researchers have discovered these food crops respond well to extrusion processing.

"To improve the in regions of Africa that experience caloric and acute malnutrition, attention needs to be focused on processing technology, like extrusion, and the use of inexpensive sources of protein materials to fortify them," writes Kalep Bulus Filli, one of the researchers and a senior lecturer in the department of food science and technology, Federal University of Technology, Yola, Nigeria.

Researchers found other extrudates of great potential to include sweet potato, soybeans, Bambara groundnut, malted or unmalted millet-soybean mixture, noodles from cassava and African breadfruit mixtures.

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More information: The full Food Technology article is available online: www.ift.org/food-technology/past-issues/2014/april/features/extrusioncooking.aspx

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