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What are the various products of wheat?

Whole Wheat Flour:

It contains the finely ground bran, germ and endosperm of the whole kernel.

Whole wheat products have a distinctive flavour and coarser texture than those made from white flour.

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Because of the higher fat content of the germ, whole wheat flour is more difficult to keep and some­times becomes rancid in storage under poor conditions.

Wheat flour is fortified with defatted soya flour ‘Poushtic atta’ maximum upto 10 per cent. This not only improves quantity and quality of protein but also improves functional characteristics such as moisture retention and less oil absorption in the end product.

Iron fortified wheat flour has been successfully used to prevent iron deficiency anaemia in some western countries.

The study conducted at NIN (1998-99) revealed that ferrous sulphate is a cost effective and good source of iron in the process of wheat flour fortification.

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Maida:

The bran and germ are separated in making white flour or maida. Maida bakes more uniformly into a loaf of a greater volume and it is more bland in taste and more easily digested. It can be stored in an air-tight container in a refrigerator.

Semolina:

It is coarsely ground endosperm and its chemical composition is similar to that of white flour. It is used in the manufacture of macaroni products. It is roasted before storing to save it from insects and worms.

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Macaroni products:

These products are also called pasta or alimentary pastes. These products include macaroni, spaghetti, vermicelli and noodles.

The main ingredient in the macaroni group of products is a special durum flour of high-gluten content.

Durum wheat is used because of its yellow- amber colour, nutty flavour and also because they hold their shape and firm texture when cooked.

The starchy endosperm of wheat is coarsely ground into semolina which is made with water into a thick dough.

The dough is placed in a cylinder, the lower end of which is fitted with a disc perforated with openings and as the dough is forced through the openings various shapes are formed. Macaroni is a tube form, spaghetti may be either tube or rod, vermicelli is a tiny rod and noodles are flat strips.

Pasta products are also available in the shapes of shell and alphabets. Usually not less than 5.5 per cent by weight of egg solids are added to noodles.

All macaroni products are cooked gently in salted water to a standard called “al dente” i.e., to the tooth.

They are quickly drained and not rinsed. Strands of macaroni should be tender, firm and distinct, not starchy, mushy or matted.

Di sodium phosphate is added to cook macaroni faster and it increases alkalinity which enables the starch to gelatinise faster.

Onions, celery, garlic, bay leaf are added as flavouring agents. Sometimes, they are also enriched with B vitamins.

They are used as soups, side dishes, salads and desserts or as main dishes. Popular dishes include vegetable noodles, kesari, upma and vermicelli payasam. Fried noodles are added to soups as thickening agent.

They can be prepared quickly and easily according to recipe or purchased in convenient precooked or ready to heat-and-eat form.

Pasta products are digested slowly as the dense structure impedes enzymatic hydrolysis.

Different kinds of wheat are used for different purposes. For cakes and breads soft wheat, for macaroni hard wheat are used.

In India, Punjab wheat is used for making chapati and samba wheat is used for rava (upma) purpose. Maida is used for making sweets and snacks.

Malted wheat:

The process of malting consists of the following steps:

(i) Good quality grain is steeped in cold water for 36 hours in warm climate with two or three changes of water.

(ii) The steeped grain is spread on wire mesh trays of 2-3″ thickness which are kept in a stand. The germination is allowed to proceed for 3 days in a warm climate. During germination amylases and proteases are formed.

(iii) Germinated grain is allowed to slow dry during which the amylases act on starch, hydrolyzing them. The drying should be at a low temperature to conserve as much of the enzyme activity as possible. During drying, the water-soluble carbohydrates and nitrogen (peptones and peptides) increase. The characteristic malt flavour is developed. The malt is dried to a moisture content of about 13 per cent.

Amylase Rich Food (ARF) is germinated cereal flours which are extremely rich in the enzyme alpha-amylase.

Just tiny or catalytic amounts of any germinated cereal flour can instantly liquefy or reduce the dietary bulk of any viscous multi-mix gruel provided cereal flour is the main ingredient.

The alpha-amylase cleaves the long carbohydrate chains in the cereal flour into shorter dextrins.

Just half a flat teaspoon of any ARF can reduce even a very high total solid concentration of 45 g made up of 25 g flour, 15 g sweetener and 5 g oil cooked in 100 ml of water to a soupy consistency.

This remarkable property makes it possible to offer the weaning child a low viscosity yet high energy dense preparation.

Malted cereal flour is inexpensive and can be made at home as well as commercially. Malt is used in brewing and in the preparation of malt extract for pharmaceutical purposes and in the preparation of malted milk powder.

Glutamic acid:

It is derived from wheat. A familiar compound of glutamic acid is “mono sodium glutamate”, a salt-like product generally available and used to bring out the flavour of other foods or seasonings.

Wheat germ:

Wheat germ is about 2-3 per cent of wheat grain. It has a high nutritional quality, comparable to animal proteins.

Presently this germ is not separated during milling, as it has a poor shelf life of only a few days and is lost in bran fraction.

Commercial germ samples contain 25-30 per cent protein, 9-11 per cent oil, 10-15 per cent sugars. Toasting or steaming of the germ increases the shelf life: Germ can be used in bakery products and in weaning foods.

Wheat bran:

It increases the stool weight by increasing the water holding capacity of the bran. Wheat bran prevents constipation and may lower the risk of colon cancer.

Triticale:

It is a hybrid cereal from a cross between wheat (Triticum) and rye (Secale). The hybrid cereal has the productivity and disease resistance of wheat with the vigour and hardiness of rye. The protein of triticale has a higher lysine content than that of wheat protein.

The grains have 14-18 per cent protein as against 12-15 per cent in wheat. The flour is suitable only for biscuit making bread making quality of triticale could be considerably improved by blending with equal quantity of maida. Chapatis are acceptable up to a 50 per cent level of incorporation of triticale flour.

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