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Breakfast Cereals and Their Nutritional Quality

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The usual breakfast meal of every household worldwide mainly consists of traditional cereals and millets. Both of these two are chief carbohydrate sources and hence are the main calorie provider. They also provide substantial amount of protein, minerals and vitamins (FAO 2002).

Traditional cereals like wheat, rice, maize and oats etc. are the grain or edible seed of the grass family Gramineae (Bender & Bender 1999). Since the beginning of civilisation cereals are used both for human and as livestock feed (BNF 1994). In different countries based on its climatic condition’s cereals are grown. They are cheap to produce, can be easily transported, stored and if kept dry doesn’t deteriorate. The final grain is processed by different ways which affects the nutritive value of cereals.

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Millets are small-grained, annual cereal grasses of various families such as chia (Salvia hispanica L.; Family Labiatae), quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa; Family Amaranth), flax seed commonly called as alsi ( Linum usitatissimum; Family Linaceae), amaranth commonly called as rajgiri (Amaranthus; Family Amaranthaceae), pearl millet commonly called a bajra (Pennisetum glaucum; Family Poaceae), finger millet commonly called as ragi (Eleusine coracana; Family Poaceae), proso millet commonly called as barri or chena (Penicum miliaceum; Family Poaceae), Sorghum commonly called as jowar (Sorghum controversum; Family: Gramineae/Poaceae), Buckweat commonly called Kutu (Fagopyrum esculentum; Family Polygonaceae), foxtail millet commonly called as kakum (Setaria italica; Family: Gramineae/Poaceae) etc. (Macrae et al. 1993; Bender & Bender 1999). In terms of world food production though millets occupy a less significant place but they are staple diet in certain locations of Asia and Africa as they are drought resistant and other grains do not provide necessary yield (FAO 1995). Depending on the soil and climatic requirements, grain consistency, growing period length, taste and size differs in different species. India is the leading producer of millets worldwide (FAO, 2012). Though sorghum and bajra are produced in highest amount compared to quinoa and chia in India but the latter have gained much importance in last two decades because of its proven nutritive values. Though, traditionally they were limited in terms of cultivation and utilization to western world but they are grown in India in regions southern part (Chandrasekara and Shahidi, 2011).

Quinoa and chia are important gluten free millets. ‘Gluten’ term is used collectively for storage proteins present in wheat (gliadin), barley (hordein) and rye (secalin) (DeRon, 2017). In certain genetically susceptible individuals such as celiac, ingestion of gluten causes damage to intestinal mucosa by an autoimmune reaction (Graf et al.,2015). AICRP (All India Coordinated Research Project) has identified few plants which may be considered as a substitute to the traditional cereals in India providing extra nutritional contents than usual cereals. Quinoa and chia are important pseudo cereals. The protein qualities and profile of pseudo cereals is at par with the traditional cereals but most importantly they also lack allergens and enzyme inhibitors as against those of cereals. In recent times, quinoa and chia are called “Super Food” and they have been declared as crop of the year in 2014 due to their ideal essential amino acids and mineral profile (Satheesh et al., 2018). Both of these are also called as “Functional Foods” because they aim at lowering the risks of various diseases and has additional advantage of improving gut health (Bresson et. al., 2009).

Quinoa protein is a complete protein (Abugoch, 2009). It contains balanced sets of essential amino acids. It is rich is Lysine, Methionine and histidine and thus provide a good complement to legumes which are limiting in methionine (Drzewiecki et. al., 2003). It is low in prolamins (0.5-0.7%) and this shows that it is free of gluten and therefore is non-allergic. It lacks enzyme inhibitors compared to cereals. Compared to soybean maize, wheat and rice, the average protein score is on higher side. The PER (Protein Efficiency Ratio) or the NPU (Net Protein Utilization), bioavailability of protein or Protein digestibility is also in higher side than cereals (Das, 2016). Moreover, these classes of pseudo cereals contain high dietary fibre content. Dietary fibres are necessary to maintain necessary motility in gastrointestinal tract and thus reduce reabsorption of bile salts and cholesterol and thus have hypolipidemic effect. This has also been associated with lower risk of colon cancer. Quinoa and chia have more antioxidant content and they have hypoglycaemic effect. They also improve conditions of hypertension. It also reduces antitumor activities and anaemia. The nutrients such as calcium, folate, iron, riboflavin, thiamine and niacin lacks in The usual gluten-free diets are low in most of the vitamins of the B complex (chiefly Thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate) and minerals (chiefly calcium, phosphorus and iron) and thus quinoa and chia provide best alternative to them (Ruiz et. al.,2014). Quinoa contains many nutrients which are anti-inflammatory and also includes cell wall polysaccharides, vitamin E and phenolic acids and nutrients like gamma-tocopherol.

Quinoa provides good quality and quantity of edible oil. Fat content is about 4 times higher than in wheat which range from 4.0% to 9.7%. The quality of unsaturated fat is very high, which is about 82.7%–85.0% of the total amount of fatty acids (Miranda et. al., 2012). It mainly contains Oleic, Linoleic and Linolenic acids. Polar lipids represent some 25.2% of the total lipid profile of which Lysophosphatidyl Ethanolamine (LPE) is the major constituent (Vidueiros et. al., 2015).

Chia seeds are considered the golden seed of this century based on its nutritional potential (Ullah, 2015). The fat, protein, carbohydrate, dry matter, dietary fibre, and ash contents of chia seeds ranged from 30–33 %, 15 to 25 %, 41 %, 90–93 %, 18–30 % and 4–5 % respectively. The variation is due to climatic, soil, and agronomic conditions of different regions (Ting et al. 1990). It also contains wide range of polyphenols (Ixtaina et al. 2011). The heavy metal content of seeds are in safe limit with no harmful mycotoxins (Peiretti and Gai, 2009). Its seeds when added to breakfast meals, improve appeal to consumers who are health-conscious. The high amount of dietary fibres (soluble fiber and mucilage) help in decreasing weight and appetite as it increases satiety level. The fibre is responsible for the gluey texture of moistened chia seeds (Bourneo, 2010) These strands may help to bring down LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. It has low glycemic index which can avert blood sugar after having a feast and promote fullness feeling and slowly increases blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes.
Chia seeds oil (25-30%) can replace other oils in food preparations like salad dressing that help in absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (Jeong, 2010). Its oil is excellent source of omega-3 (alpha-linoleic (ALA) fatty acids 60% of the oil) that play a vital role in vegans’ diet especially those who are nuts allergic and also provides healthy alternative for seafood allergic people. It also impacts on cardiovascular health (managing heart rhythms and blood pressure, bringing down cholesterol, decreasing inflammation and preventing blood clots) (Gimenez-Bastida et al.,2016).

Soybean or soya bean (Glycine max; Family Legume or pea), a local vegetable of east Asia. It plays an important role in enhancement in quality of the protein of cereal based diet which may help in reduction of malnutrition of the community (Brachfeld and Choate, 2007). 100 grams of crude soybeans contain proteins (36.49), sugars(7.3), fat (19.94) of which monounsaturated fatty acid (4.4), polyunsaturated fatty acid (11.26) and saturated fatty acid(2.89) and the remaining consists water (8.54) and carbohydrates (30.2). It supplies 446 Kcal of energy (chen et. al., 2012). Soy is complete protein, containing significant amount of the essential amino acids (Henkel, 2000). It has PDCAAS (Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score) value close to egg (96 compared to 97 respectively).

The various grains discussed earlier played an important role in breakfast cereal industry worldwide. In general breakfast cereal products were originally sold as grinded grains of wheat and oats that always required further cooking in the home prior to consumption. Breakfast cereals can be categorized into traditional (hot) cereals that require further cooking or heating before consumption and ready-to-eat (cold) cereals that can be consumed from the box or with the addition of milk. Traditional cereals are those that are sold in the market as primary processed grains or as cooked grains requiring the addition of hot water. Ready-to-eat cereals are cereals manufactured from grain products that have been cooked and modified in some way (e.g., flaked, puffed, or shredded). Ready-to-eat cereals also include cereal mixes, such as Granola. Actual processes may vary considerably between plants, even those producing the same type of cereal. (McKevith et al 2010). These cereals are frequently made from mixtures of one or several grain components with other ingredients; they require extensive processing, are usually fortified with vitamins and minerals, and are specially packaged to protect their flavor, texture, and nutrition during storage as well as display their contents in such a way as to visually appeal to and entice the consumer. (Caldwel et al 2018).

The changing demand of breakfast meals from traditional preparations to ‘ready to cook’ and ‘ready to eat’ products, now a days, became a propelling force for the aim of the present study. Combination of different grains not only improve the nutritional quality of the final product but also improves the overall acceptability. Keeping the nutritional properties of various cereals (wheat, rice, maize), millets (quinoa and chia) and pulse like soybean, a study is planned for formulation, preparation and development of ready to eat and ready to cook some breakfast products by combining these grains which meet the daily needs of nutrients and also provide good mouthfeel, taste and flavour.

To the best of my knowledge no work has been reported on ready-to-eat and ready to cook breakfast products development made by combining above mentioned grains.

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