Banana peel ‘flour’ can improve nutritional value and taste of cookies

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Banana peels can go from the trash or compost to people’s plates as healthy treats. Golibtolibov/Getty Images
  • Banana peels can be edible and are a rich source of dietary fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, and protein.
  • A new study shows that replacing a small amount (7.5% to 15%) of wheat flour in cookies with flour made from banana peels increases antioxidant levels while reducing their content in fat.
  • Fortification of wheat flour with banana peel flour, especially at lower concentrations (7.5%), did not negatively impact sensory properties, such as texture and taste.
  • These results suggest that adding banana peel flour could be a viable option to improve the nutritional properties of foods.

A recent study published in the journal ACS Food Science and Technology shows that replacing a small portion of wheat flour in cookies with banana peel flour improved the nutrient profile of cookies without adversely affecting taste and texture. Incorporating banana peel into the diet has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while providing health benefits.

“Banana peel consumption can benefit not only the producer (providing a waste management solution) and the agricultural industry (generating income by converting waste into value-added goods), but also contains vast nutritional value. which may have health benefits when consumed,” said Dr. Wolyna Pindilecturer at the Universiti Malaysia Sabah.

Bananas are the Fourth the most consumed food crop after rice, wheat and maize. Banana peels represent nearly 35% weight of the fruit and usually end up in the trash or compost. However, banana peels contain large amounts of organic compounds and their breakdown in landfills is a significant source of potent greenhouse gases such as methane.

Efforts to minimize waste have led to the use of banana peels for the production of biofuel, fertilizer, wastewater treatment and other industrial applications. Banana peels are also edible and there has been renewed interest in using banana peels as food to reduce waste.

Additionally, the high levels of dietary fiber and antioxidants in banana peel make it a candidate for inclusion in a healthy diet. Specifically, banana peels contain high levels of phenolic compounds which have antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. These phenolic compounds may also have anti-inflammatory effects and potentially beneficial for people with diabetes and high blood pressure.

Banana peels are also rich in protein, potassium, magnesium, vitamins, polyunsaturated fatty acids and amino acids.

Banana peel has been used as an alternative to meat, including as a vegan substitute for pulled pork and bacon.

Banana peels also contain high levels of tryptophan, an amino acid that can improve sleep quality. Additionally, the magnesium and potassium found in banana peels are associated with muscle relaxation. These properties and the high levels of antioxidants have also led to the use of banana peel to brew tea.

Banana peel flour has been used to improve the nutritional properties of various food products including bread and cakes. For example, a previous study showed that 5% to 10% wheat in bread can be replaced with banana peel flour to increase the nutrient profile without negatively influencing taste or other sensory properties such as color, aroma and flavor. texture.

Researchers from Aligarh University recently investigated whether supplementing wheat flour with banana peel flour could also improve the nutritional properties of cookies.

Researchers first removed peels from washed, undamaged ripe bananas to prepare banana peel flour. After bleaching and drying the banana peels, the researchers ground the banana peels into flour and replaced a small amount of refined wheat flour in the cookie recipe with banana peel flour.

The researchers prepared five batches of cookies, replacing 0% (control), 7.5%, 10%, 12.5% ​​or 15% of the wheat flour with banana peel flour. Increasing the amount of banana peel flour in the cookies resulted in higher moisture and mineral content, but lower fat and protein content. The increased moisture content was probably due to the higher fiber content of the banana peel flour.

Additionally, cookies with higher concentrations of banana peel flour also showed higher phenolic compounds and levels of antioxidant potential. In other words, except for lower protein levels, increasing levels of banana peel flour in cookies improved the nutrient profile.

Cookies contain high levels of fat and oxidation of these fats can reduce shelf life. Given the high levels of antioxidants in banana peels, researchers also looked at the ability of banana peel flour to improve the shelf life of cookies over a 3 month storage period.

The researchers found that the phenolic compound levels and antioxidant properties of all cookies decreased over the 3-month storage period. But the cookies containing 15% banana peel flour still had higher polyphenol levels and antioxidant potential after three months than the control group. Significantly, cookies with a higher content of banana peel flour also showed greater inhibition of fat oxidation.

The researchers recruited a panel of 20 judges to assess taste and other sensory characteristics associated with food desirability, such as taste, texture and appearance.

The flavor and aftertaste of the cookies with 7.5% or 10% wheat flour replaced with banana peel flour were comparable to those of the control cookies. Additionally, the texture and overall acceptability scores of cookies with the lowest amount of banana peel flour (7.5%) were better than the control group and other cookies with higher banana peel concentrations. high.

These results show that substituting wheat flour with banana peel flour at low concentrations could improve the nutritional profile of cookies, without negatively impacting sensory attributes.

Although eating banana peels may have health benefits, there is little data on the safety and impact of processing methods on the nutritional properties of banana peels.

The co-author of the study Faizan Ahmadprofessor at Aligarh Muslim University, warned: “Banana peels are not safe to consume in their raw form due to their exposure to various environmental pollutants, pesticides, bacteria which can negatively affect health, they have therefore need additional preparation before consumption. ”

Additionally, some studies have shown that drying banana peels at high temperatures can lead to the loss of beneficial compounds. Cooking food products containing banana peel flour could lead to further loss of these compounds.

Fruit peels are also prone to the buildup of toxic substances such as heavy metals and pesticides. Thus, more research and regulations are needed before the widespread use of banana peel as a food.

“There is a lack of validated standards to enable the marketing of banana peel in the food industry. In addition, the poorly organized system and guidelines, as well as the lack of subsidies, are expected to act as barriers to the utilization of banana peel and other agricultural biomass,” Dr Pindi said.

Banana peel also contains antinutrients, such as tannin, oxalate and phytate, which can limit food absorption and affect health. Dr Pindi said: “Additional modification and processing may be required to reduce the presence of antinutrients (oxalate, phytate, etc.) in banana peels.”

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