Banana flour adds fiber to pasta

by Eric Schroeder
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YAUTEPEC, MEXICO — Preference of spaghetti prepared with banana flour was similar to the preference of a control spaghetti in the results of a study appearing in the Journal of Food Science. The pasta containing banana flour presented a slight decrease in the lightness and diameter of the control spaghetti.

The findings show potential for adding banana flour and its dietary fiber to spaghetti without affecting consumer preference, according to the study’s authors.

The study "Pasta with Unripe Banana Flour: Physical, Texture, and Preference Study" involved researchers with the Centro de Desarollo de Productos Bioticos del I.P.N. in Yautepec. Banana flour contains compounds that cannot be digested, such as resistant starch and non-starch polysaccharides that are dietary fiber.

The researchers used unripe bananas (Musa paradisiaca L.). The control spaghetti was made with 100% semolina. Three other spaghettis were prepared by substituting semolina with banana flour at 15%, 30% and 45%, respectively.

One group of 100 Mexican consumers did a preference-ranking test for all the spaghetti samples without flavor added. The second group of 100 people tested the samples both as unflavored spaghetti and as tomato-flavored spaghetti.

In general, the acceptance of the control spaghetti was similar to acceptance of spaghetti with banana flour. Acceptance increased in all spaghettis when they were tomato-flavored, and even more so in the spaghettis with 30% and 45% banana flour.

The lightness of the spaghetti decreased significantly as the concentration of banana flour increased up to 30%. No difference was seen when the concentration increased to 45% from 30%.

Diameter of the spaghetti decreased in samples with 30% and 45% banana flour. The diameter of the control spaghetti and the spaghetti with 15% banana flour were not statistically different. The spaghetti with 15% banana flour showed a 15% water absorption increase when compared to the control spaghetti.

Texture analysis showed no differences observed between the control spaghetti and those with banana flour. The spaghetti with banana flour had more adhesiveness, and that effect was higher as amount of banana flour rose in the pasta.

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