Even Pasta Can Be Made Healthy - With Unripe Banana Flour

by Tanya Thomas on Aug 4 2009 8:01 AM

Food scientists have suggested that you can make even pasta healthy! How? Simply supplement it with unripe banana flour.

According to the study in the Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologists, the flour contains antioxidants and fiber, which will make pasta a healthy meal.

Fiber-rich unripe banana flour contains resistant starch, a type of fiber that may aid in managing weight and type 2 diabetes.

"As consumers are unlikely to eat sufficient amounts of vegetables and other fiber-rich foods directly, the supplementation of pasta with unripe banana flour can play an important role in achieving health benefits," says Edith Agama-Acevedo, lead researcher at the Centro de Desarrollo de Productos Bi¢ticos del IPN in Mexico.

In the study, banana flour was added to pasta because pasta is considered a product with a low glycemic index, a rating that measures the effects of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels.

Low glycemic responses are thought to be favorable to health because of possible prevention of heart disease and metabolic diseases like type 2 diabetes.

Researchers served spaghetti made from semolina and a semolina/banana flour blend to 200 Mexican consumers.

"The preference of the banana flour-added spaghetti and the control was similar," says Agama-Acevedo.

"The addition of tomato sauce increased the acceptability of the banana flour spaghetti. The spaghetti added with 30 and 45 percent of banana flour had higher acceptability than its control," the expert said.