Though our country is the largest producer of many kinds of millets, they are not as popular as it should be, given their health benefits. The major constraints being the drudgery involved in domestic processing.
“The value addition through processing technology received little attention restricting the utility range and consumption patterns of small millet grains. There is a need to revive and add value to the foods prepared from such grains to promote large scale production and consumption for wider health benefits,” says Dr. B. Ranganna, Emeritus Scientist (ICAR), University of agricultural sciences, Bangalore.
A study was undertaken to study the innumerable value added products made from millets and their popularization at the University.
ICAR has been focusing on increasing the production and productivity of all small millets that are grown in the country, through its All India Co-ordinated Research Project on Small Millets (Headquarter is at UAS, Bangalore).
“We are presently engaged in collection, compilation and documentation of indigenous technical knowledge (ITK) on processing and utilization of small millets in India. In our research on making by products from millets we noticed that traditionally, the milled rice from the selected five small millets are used for the preparation of rice,” he says.
In some regions the rice is further size reduced and used as soji for upma preparation, and also rice is converted into flour and used for vermicilli preparation. Beyond this no product worth mentioning has been developed which could reach the urban population,” says Dr. Ranganna.
According to him the vision of the scientists is that malts from small millets should replace one day the commercial brands in the market, since nutritionally these are on par with them and can be made available to public at half the price.
“Malt drinks have been developed out of little millet, foxtail millet, kodo millet, proso millet and barnyard millet. These products are diabetic friendly (except the butter biscuit) due to low glycemic index.
“The major vision of this research study is to develop consumer friendly nutri-rich value added products that could be well accepted by all category of people of the society,” he adds.
For more details contact Dr. B. Ranganna, Emeritus Scientist (ICAR), PHT Scheme, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore 560 065, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, mobile: 97400 10564