NUTRITIVE VALUE OF CEREALS AND CEREAL PRODUCTS
Cereals are an important and economic source of energy. Cereals form the staple food of the human race. Wheat, rice, maize (corn), oats, jowar, ragi, and bajra are the common cereals and millets used. A hundred grams of cereals supply 340 kilocalories of energy.
CEREALS NUTRIENTS CONTENT:
- Cereals are also a significant source of proteins (8 – 11 percent) in the diets of people whose staple food is cereals.
- Cereal protein is incomplete as it lacks an essential amino acid, lysine. This lack is made up when cereals are eaten along with other protein foods such as pulses, dhals, and milk.
- The strength of the wheat flour is based on the quality of gluten used. Wheat flour contains glutelin and gliadin as proteins which are commonly known as gluten.
- Refined cereals lose part of the protein, minerals, and B – Complex vitamins in milling. They contain a little more starch than whole cereals.
- Whole grains chiefly furnish starch, proteins, minerals, B -Vitamins, and fiber.
PARBOILING EFFECT ON NUTRIENT CONTENT OF CEREALS:
Parboiling is a process of soaking paddy in water at 65° -70° C for 3 – 4 hours. The water is depleted and the soaked paddy is steamed in the same vessel for 5 to 10 minutes. The paddy is dried in the sun or mechanically dried.
Advantages of Parboiling:
- Part of the scutellum and germ which are rich in B –Vitamins get fixed to the grain and hence loss of B –Vitamins are less. The confinement of thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and folic acid in parboiled rice is greater than that of polished or hand-pounded rice.
- Dehusking of parboiled rice is easy.
- It improves digestibility.
- It swells more when cooked to desired softness.
- Grains become tougher resulting in reduced losses during milling.
MILLING EFFECT ON NUTRIENT CONTENT OF CEREALS:
Milling is the process, which eliminates the coarse outer layer of bran and germ. Paddy is milled by hand pounding or mechanical rice millers. The degree of milling determines the number of nutrients removed. The percentage loss of different nutrients during milling are:
protein 15%, 82% fat ,thiamine 85% , riboflavin 70% , pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) 50%.
Losses during milling can be compensated by the following processes:
- By under-milling or unpolishing rice, the loss of nutrients can be reduced.
- Another means of remedying the losses occurring in the milling of rice is the artificial enrichment of the grain.
- Another method is that of increasing vitamin retention by processing the rough rice prior to milling. This is
done by parboiling which is commercially known as converted rice.
NUTRIENT CONTENT OF RAGI, MAIZE, AND JOWAR:
Maize or corn – Maize, like any other cereal, is rich in calories. It is a good source of carotene and contains thiamine and folic acid in appreciable amounts.
Ragi – Ragi or finger millet is widely consumed without any refining. Ragi is rich in minerals especially
calcium. It is also rich in fiber and is a good source of iron.
Jowar – It is rich in carbohydrates, and B – Complex vitamins. It is poor in vitamin – A and rich in dietary fiber. Compared to rice, jowar is richer in protein.
ADVANTAGES OF INCLUDING A COMBINATION OF CEREALS IN THE MENU:
The major cereals consumed commonly are rice, wheat, jowar, bajra, and ragi. Cereals are the main source of energy contributing 70 – 80 percent of the daily energy intake of the majority of people living South Asian region.
- The nutritive value of cereals varies with the part of the grain used. All whole cereals furnish starch, protein, iron, phosphorus, thiamin, and fiber but refined cereals lose part of these nutrients during the milling process. A good wise combination of different cereals in the day’s diet will help to meet the nutrient requirements.
- For example, rice flakes payasam, ragi adai and broken wheat up puma can be included in the menu instead
of rice-based meals alone. This will contribute different nutrients to the day’s diet.
ROLE OF CEREALS IN COOKERY:
- Cereals are used as a thickening agent, e.g. cornflour in custards, cornflour in white sauce, macaroni in soups.
- Cereals form the staple diet and contribute to most of the calorie requirement and half of the protein requirement.
- Cereals improve the quality of pulse protein. They are an excellent source of starch and B vitamins. Cereals also
contribute to satiety and are used to prepare the main dish as a fact no meal can be made without cereals.
- Cereals are used as a coating agent, e.g., maida paste in cutlets or bread crumbs in cutlets.
- Malted cereals are used in the preparation of beverages and weaning foods.
- Cereals products like corn flakes and rice flakes are used as ready-to-use foods.
- Fermented foods made from cereals are used as breakfast foods or snacks.
Helthwell: To maintain good health keep sure you make a healthy approach regarding physical, mental and your own well-being.