Pasta Made From Green Banana Flour a Tasty Alternative for Gluten-Free Diets

New option for patients with celiac disease, study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reports

Philadelphia, PA, June 22, 2012 – People with celiac disease struggle with limited food choices, as their condition makes them unable to tolerate gluten, found in wheat and other grains. Researchers from the University of Brazil have developed a gluten-free pasta product from green banana flour, which tasters found more acceptable than regular whole wheat pasta. The product has less fat and is cheaper to produce than standard pastas. Their research is published today in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

“There was no significant difference between the modified pasta and standard samples in terms of appearance, aroma, flavor, and overall quality,” reports lead investigator Renata Puppin Zandonadi, PhD, Department of Nutrition, University of Brazil. “Green bananas are considered a sub-product of low commercial value with little industrial use. For banana growers and pasta product makers, there is the possibility of diversifying and expanding their market.”

Researchers compared a standard whole-wheat pasta preparation made from whole wheat flour and whole eggs with one made from green banana flour, egg whites, water, and gums. The alterations reduced the fat content and increased the protein value of the modified pasta, important because gluten removal typically reduces some proteins responsible for some sensory characteristics of pasta products. The egg whites and gum result in pasta that is less sticky than typical gluten-free pastas, and promote firmness, elasticity, moisture, and uniformity.

The modified pasta decreased fat content by over 98%. This reduction is particularly important to patients with celiac disease, because many gluten-free products compensate for the removal of gluten with high levels of lipid content. 

Fifty testers who did not have celiac disease and 25 celiac disease patients compared the pastas. In both groups, the modified pasta was better accepted than the standard in aroma, flavor, texture, and overall quality, indicating that the product can possibly be commercialized to a wider market than just those with celiac disease. 

The modified pasta had a high quantity of resistant starch, which may help control glycemic indexes, cholesterol, intestinal regularity, and fermentation by intestinal bacteria. “Considering that untreated celiac disease promotes cancer in intestinal cells and a highly inflammatory mucosal status, developing gluten-free products with bioactive compounds such as the ones present in green banana flour is important for celiac disease patients,” concludes Dr. Zandonadi. “Patients will benefit from ingesting a product with a better nutritional profile made from an ingredient that is produced and consumed throughout the world.”

In an accompanying podcast presentation, Raquel Braz Assunção Botelho, PhD, discusses the potential benefits of green banana flour-based pasta for people with celiac disease.

 

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Notes for editors
“Green banana pasta: An alternative for gluten-free diets,” by Renata Puppin Zandonadi, PhD; Raquel Braz Assunção Botelho, PhD; Lenora Gandolfi, PhD; Janini Selva Ginani, MSc; Flávio Martins Montenegro, MSc; Riccardo Pratesi, PhD. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Volume 112/Issue 7 (July 2012), DOI: 10.1016/j.jand.2012.04.002, published, published by Elsevier.

Full text of this article is available to credentialed journalists upon request. Contact Eileen Leahy at +1 732 238 3628 or andjrnlmedia@elsevier.com to obtain copies. Journalists wishing to set up interviews with the authors may contact Raquel Braz Assunção Botelho at +55 61 3107 1747 or raquelbotelho@terra.com.br.

A video presentation featuring Raquel Braz Assunção Botelho and information specifically for journalists are located at http://andjrnl.org/content/mediapodcast. Excerpts from the video may be reproduced by the media; contact Eileen Leahy to obtain permission.

About the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
The official journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics ( www.eatright.org), the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics ( www.andjrnl.org) is the premier source for the practice and science of food, nutrition and dietetics. The monthly, peer-reviewed journal presents original articles prepared by scholars and practitioners and is the most widely read professional publication in the field. The Journal focuses on advancing professional knowledge across the range of research and practice issues such as: nutritional science, medical nutrition therapy, public health nutrition, food science and biotechnology, food service systems, leadership and management and dietetics education.

The Journal has a current Impact Factor of 3.244 in the Nutrition and Dietetics category of the Journal Citation Reports®, published by Thomson Reuters. It was previously published as the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

About the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics ( www.eatright.org), formerly the American Dietetic Association, is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy.

About Elsevier

Elsevier is a world-leading provider of information solutions that enhance the performance of science, health, and technology professionals, empowering them to make better decisions, deliver better care, and sometimes make groundbreaking discoveries that advance the boundaries of knowledge and human progress. Elsevier provides web-based, digital solutions — among them ScienceDirect, Scopus, Elsevier Research Intelligence, and ClinicalKey — and publishes nearly 2,200 journals, including The Lancet and Cell, and over 25,000 book titles, including a number of iconic reference works.

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Media contact
Eileen Leahy
Elsevier
+1 732 238 3628
andjrnlmedia@elsevier.com

Ryan O’Malley
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
+1 800 877 1600, ext 4769
media@eatright.org