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Banana flour touted for gluten-free pasta

June 24, 2012 at 8:22 PM   |   Comments

RIO DE JANEIRO, June 24 (UPI) -- University of Brazil researchers say their gluten-free pasta from green banana flour tastes better than regular whole-wheat pasta.

Lead investigator Renata Puppin Zandonadi of the University of Brazil compared a standard whole-wheat pasta preparation made from whole-wheat flour and whole eggs with one made from green banana flour, egg whites, water and gums.

The alterations reduced the fat content and increased the protein value of the modified pasta. The egg whites and gum resulted in pasta that was less sticky than typical gluten-free pastas, and promote firmness, elasticity, moisture and uniformity.

The modified pasta decreased fat content by more than 98 percent -- particularly important to patients with celiac disease, because many gluten-free products compensate for the removal of gluten with high levels of fats.

Fifty testers who did not have celiac disease and 25 celiac disease patients tasted the pastas.

The study, published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, found both groups said the modified pasta was better accepted than the standard in aroma, flavor, texture and overall quality.

The findings indicated the product could possibly be commercialized to a wider market than just those with celiac disease, Zandonadi said.

"There was no significant difference between the modified pasta and standard samples in terms of appearance, aroma, flavor, and overall quality," Zandonadi said in a statement. "For banana growers and pasta product makers, there is the possibility of diversifying and expanding their market."

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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