Scientists have come up with a way to turn sweet potato into an antioxidant-rich gluten-free flour. Reported by the American Chemical Society.
Wheat flour has been the basis for the diet of Russia and the Western world for many decades. At the same time, a certain proportion of the population suffers from intolerance to gluten – the protein that makes the dough sticky. When it is eaten in people with individual intolerance, abdominal pain, nausea and intestinal problems begin.
Ofelia Ruzo-Sandez and her colleagues wanted to investigate how two different drying temperatures and different grinding methods affect the properties of sweet potato flour. Sweet potato samples were dried at 50 or 80 degrees, after which they were ground once or twice. A variety of parameters were examined for each sample and each was compared to store-bought sweet potato flour and traditional wheat flour. Regardless of the drying temperature, a single grind will damage enough starch to make it ideal for gluten-free bread. The double milling further disrupted the crystallinity of the starch, resulting in thickeners ideal for porridges or sauces. A loaf of bread made from high-temperature dried flour and once milled showed a higher antioxidant capacity than a loaf made from store-bought sweet potato or wheat flour.
The researchers hope these results can help expand the uses of sweet potato flour for both home cooks and the food industry.
Scientists have previously discovered a protein whose deficiency leads to neurodegenerative diseases.