January 06, 2012
The National Institute of Nutrition, a part of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), is now recommending the bakery sector to focus on technological innovations and better ingredients like zero trans fat, high fibre besides micro nutrient fortification to replace calorie-dense, high glycemic and relatively low nutrient value products. These baked foods are led by bread and biscuits and followed by cake, muffins, bun, pav and pizza.
“Bakery products are increasingly becoming popular in our country. The range and variety which exists these days make them an attractive food option. Apprehension however exists in the wake of the decreased activity and modern lifestyles that these products tend to be calorie-dense. There is need for research and development for novel and healthier bakery products relevant to the diverse needs of the country,” stated Dr B Sesikeran, director, National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad.
Consumers are increasingly becoming concerned about their health and are well aware of the relationship between nutritious food and optimal health. Various concerns have caused consumers to demand for healthier bakery products, according to Sesikeran.
Some popular trends in the market are light functional, natural organic products. In addition to the healthier products consumers are also purchasing products that satisfy their taste buds. Keeping this in perspective, future area of research at the NIN includes an in-depth study in the role of different macro and micronutrients. There is need to develop low-cost but healthy bakery products using locally available nutritious ingredients such as millets, full bran wheat, honey and greens. Once such products are standardised then the technology can be traversed to small bakery entrepreneurs in the rural and urban areas.
To ensure that the consumers get the best of the nutrients, NIN has generated database on nutritive values of over 650 Indian foods, which is used by various national organisations, planners and academic research institutions. It has also formulated Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for Indians. Further, it has developed food- based dietary guidelines. As part of the food-based approach to combat micronutrient deficiencies, the NIN has also gone ahead to develop fortification methods with iron and iodine for prevention of related deficiency diseases. It has also demonstrated its beneficial effects in preventing the reduction in haemoglobin levels and devised simple kits to check the content of iron and iodine in fortified salt. The Indian bakery industry now needs to ensure developing bakery products comprising vitamins, whole grains and fibres, according to NIN.
Source: FnB News