Extrusion method critical to quality of lentil flour based snacks, study

Wednesday 15 September 2010

Snacks produced using wholegrain lentil flour can meet consumer acceptability in terms of texture and structural attributes if the correct extrusion conditions and feed composition are applied, claim Greek researchers.

The authors, who published their findings in the Journal of Food Engineering, said they developed simple power model equations to enable the production of extruded snacks with good quality characteristics.

The researchers, based at the National Technical University of Athens, point out that as soybean is the most used legume grain for the production of protein enriched snacks, there is still a lack of knowledge of extrudate properties using legume and legume-cereal blends, especially products obtained from whole legume grains.

They explained that extrusion has been used to develop various types of snack foods, mainly from corn meal, rice, wheat flour, or potato flour, in many shapes and variety of textures but product quality can vary considerably.

According to the authors, factors such as extrusion processing conditions including extruder type, screw configuration, feed moisture, along with temperature profile in the barrel sections, screw speed, and feed rate play a significant role in whether the snack will meet consumer acceptability standards.

They said their aim was to investigate density and expansion ratio, as well as textural and sensorial characteristics of corn–lentil extruded snacks as affected by extrusion conditions and raw material characteristics such as moisture content and lentil to corn ratio.

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