Quinoa seed flour fortified wheat biscuits: Healthy Snacking


Dr Loveleen Kaur Sarao 1 and Dr Shruti Puri 2`

Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Wild.) is a pseudocereal which finds its origin in the South American Andean regions (Matiacevich et al., 2006). In the American continent, Quinoa is one of the oldest crops.  Instead of growing the traditional native foods, foreign crops like wheat and barley were grown. It has been classified as a race like maize owing to the practical attributes.  The classification of Quinoa collected in Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia has been done into 17 races, though the number of races existing may be much more. Quinoa is referred to as a “complete food” (James, 2009). Quinoa is a good source of fibre and protein and is therefore being replaced with rice as a healthy alternative. To prepare baby food, it is just boiled in hot water. Effects of Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) consumption on markers of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk were studied by Liangkui et al (2018). They concluded that daily consumption of quinoa in this short-term intervention appeared to modify glucose response, but on other CVD risk biomarkers it had minimal effects.

Quinoa has a high amount of phytochemicals such as saponins, phytosterols and phytoecdysteroids which are beneficial for the health.  In humans, Quinoa has been found to have beneficial effects on metabolic, cardiovascular, and gastrointestinal health.  Seeds of Quinoa are even enjoyed as popcorn. Quinoa seeds are grinded and mixed with maize or wheat flour.  Fortification of various products has been done using quinoa flour. Some of such products are bread (10-13% Quinoa flour), noodles and pasta (30-40%) and sweet biscuits (60%) (Valencia – Chamorro, 2003).  To incorporate various nutritionally rich ingredients, bakery products are used as a potential means (Gandhi, et al., 2001).  One of the healthy baked food items are biscuits. The availability of healthy biscuits have replaced a lot much junk floating in the food market. Therefore, the fortification of biscuits enhances the nutritional value and imparts a definite flavour to it. Quinoa is rich in vitamins B1, B2, B3 and E , this, along with its nutritional value accounts increasing  consumer interest.  The term fortification refers to the addition of nutrients to foods regardless of whether they were originally present in the food or not. The process of fortification helps in enhancing the nutritional status of food.  The process of fortification could be either by law such as white bread or voluntarily such as breakfast cereals, fat spreads etc.  Which foods to fortify and to what level has to be done while taking the safety and technical considerations into account. Quinoa possesses sensory properties as well.

The qualities of a food that can be felt with the fingers, tongue, palate, or teeth are referred to as the food texture (Sahin and Sumnu, 2006). One of the most important property of food products is its texture. A unique texture which is creamy, smooth and a little crunchy is observed in quinoa (James, 2009).  Recently, Wu (2015) reviewed the seed composition to conclude that  the high nutritional value of quinoa arises from its high protein content, complete and balanced essential amino acids, high proportion of unsaturated fatty acids, high concentrations of vitamin B complex, vitamin E, and minerals, and high phenolic and betalain content. This prompted us to choose quinoa for fortification. As Quinoa has gained importance due to its high nutrition value, aim of this study was to develop a new product via fortification with quinoa flour, thus improving the trend of traditional biscuits. Main objectives of this study were preparation of wheat flour (WF) biscuits; grinding and preparation of Quinoa seed flour (QF); fortification of Quinoa seed flour with wheat flour in different ratios (WF:QF - 90:10,80:20,70:30,60:40); proximate comparative analysis of all the above ratios; comparative study of physical parameters such as Length : Breadth ratio, Spread ratio, Break strength and  Sensory evaluation of native and fortified biscuits.

Composite flour prepared from quinoa seed flour considerably affected the physicochemical, sensory and nutritional properties of biscuits. The present study was conducted to compare the effect of fortification on the chemical and sensory attributes of biscuits. Quinoa seeds flour had significant effect on the functional properties of the flour blends. Replacement of wheat flour with quinoa seed flour at 10 %, 20%, 30% and 40% levels was done. It showed an increase in total proteins, fiber and ash contents.
Blending quinoa seed flour with wheat flour at 40% level produced samples which  can be used for production of bakery goods with improved functional properties as  40% fortified biscuits had highest ash content (1.46%), crude fiber content (1.16%), protein content (25.37%) and lowest carbohydrate content (44.95%) among all other samples. It had highest moisture content (8.77%) and lowest fat content (18.29%) among all other samples. On the basis of sensory evaluation, biscuits of ratio (100:0), (90:10) and (70:30) of wheat flour and quinoa seed flour was organoleptically highly acceptable than other fortified biscuits. In physical examination analysis sample with highest fortification showed the maximum spread ratio (5.1) but had lowest width (2.08 cm), weight (5.44 g) and diameter (10.61 cm) among all the samples. The results obtained could be very valuable in decision making for industries that want to take nutritional advantage of quinoa seed flour as alternative or supplement to cereal flours. Quinoa seed flour could be useful in the manufacture of highly nutritious biscuits.

1: Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana
2: MCM DAV College for Women, Chandigarh

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