A research team from Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) is developing low-fat Omani halwa-a symbol of Omani hospitality.
Mohammad Shafiur Rahman of the Department of Food Science and Nutrition has initiated the project to develop the 'healthy-halwa'.
"Considering the type and amount of fat and sugar content is used for making Omani halwa, it could be categorised as an unhealthy food, especially if consumed in high quantities," Gulf News quoted him as saying.he team said that the healthy halwa could be developed with reduced input of fat and sugar, and the addition of other compounds considerd beneficial to health.
Halwa is a traditional candy in Oman, and is consumed on a day-to-day basis, or during formal social occasions. It is usually served in Omani homes before drinking Arabic coffee.
Halwa is mainly made up of starch, sugar, water, ghee, and aromatised with saffron, nuts and/or rose water. Omani halwa is usually made with sugar (50 per cent), water (25 per cent), mill flour (10 per cent) and ghee (15 per cent).
"Five types of consumer groups were identified through hierarchical cluster analysis and the preferred key attributes were explored for each group," said Rahman.