Pasta goes bananas

green-banana-flour resizedFlour milled from green bananas could help solve the riddle of how to create cheap, yet tasty, gluten-free pasta.

Brazilian researchers revealed that a newly developed pasta product – made from green banana flour – may offer a low-cost, low-fat solution for people who follow a gluten-free diet. They found that the green banana produced reduced the fat content by over 98 per cent and increased the protein value

The team, led by Dr Renata Puppin Zandonadi from the University of Brazil, compared a standard wholewheat pasta preparation (made from wholewheat flour and whole eggs) with one made from green banana flour, egg whites, water and gums. The large reduction in fat could be particularly important to patients with celiac disease, because many gluten-free products compensate for the removal of gluten with high levels of lipid content.

Moreover, tasters found the new green banana pasta more acceptable than regular wholewheat pasta. ‘There was no significant difference between the modified pasta and standard samples in terms of appearance, aroma, flavour and overall quality,’ quipped Dr Zandonadi.

‘Developing gluten-free products with bioactive compounds such as the ones present in green banana flour is important for everyone, but particularly celiac disease patients,’ concluded Zandonadi. ‘They will benefit from ingesting a product with a better nutritional profile made from an ingredient that is produced and consumed throughout the world.’