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Baking with banana flour reduces glucose intake
Adding a small amount of banana flour to baked goods could reduce the risk of diseases like diabetes and obesity. This is what researchers from the University of Guelph (Canada) found out.
According to a statement from the Canadian university, engineering professor Mario Martinez and his team show for the first time that flour from green bananas can inhibit the excessive absorption of glucose in the body.
Flour made from green bananas developed in the laboratory
The scientists found that replacing only ten percent of the wheat flour in cakes with the green banana flour developed in the Martinez laboratory prevented glucose uptake twice as effectively as cakes made exclusively from wheat flour.
"We had hope, but we didn't expect the flour to work so well," said Martinez. “Not only that, but the cakes themselves were of high quality and very rich, which is important. A food may be healthy, but if it is not appealing, it will fail on the market. ”
The study was recently published in the Royal Society of Chemistry's Food & Function journal.
Against food waste
Green bananas were used in the study because they are known to have high levels of certain phenols that are important for metabolism.
These phenols help regulate glucose uptake in the body by inhibiting the transepithelial glucose transporters in the small intestine and reducing the risk of diseases such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar) and type 2 diabetes.
Green bananas not only contain a lot of phenols, they also contribute significantly to the worldwide waste of food. In parts of the world where bananas are harvested, much is wasted because they do not meet beauty standards.
And in Canada alone, it is estimated that over half a million bananas are wasted every day overripe.
Most of the glucose is not absorbed
The researchers used the latest processing equipment to subject their banana flours to a process to improve the baking stability and bioavailability of certain phenolic acids and flavonols.
The phenol-rich flour was then added to a recipe for wheat cake, with ten percent of the wheat flour being replaced by banana flour.
"The first finding was that some of the blends were more bakery stable when extruding banana flour than those with normal banana flour," said Martinez.
The researchers found that the phenolic compounds withstood the heat of the baking very well. According to Martinez, they also tested the cakes with an in vitro "digestive system".
“We saw a two-fold increase in the rate of inhibition of transepithelial glucose transport when these flours were added to a cake at 10 percent. This means that much of the glucose is not absorbed, ”said the study author.
In planned clinical studies, Prof. Martinez and his team want to test the effectiveness of the phenolic banana flour in the body.
Optimizing herbal ingredients to improve health
In early 2018, Martinez received over $ 575,000 from the Walmart Foundation to develop a way to convert food waste into food supplements and incorporate it into food. The banana flour study is a result.
"This study is an example of the discovery of practical applications for wasted edible plant tissue and the optimization of herbal ingredients to improve health," said the researcher.
“The main purpose of this research is to find a win-win situation for consumers and banana producers by avoiding the risk of people suffering from excessive glucose absorption and by upgrading a food that is disposed of improperly. "(Ad)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
- University of Guelph: Baking with Banana Flour Reduces Glucose Absorption, U of G Study Finds, (accessed: December 16, 2019), University of Guelph
- Food & Function: Banana flour phenolics inhibit trans-epithelial glucose transport from wheat cakes in a coupled in vitro digestion / Caco-2 cell intestinal model, (accessed: December 16, 2019), Food & Function