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Effect of processing on the starch and glycemic properties of Digitaria spp.
Jordaan, Michelle Bernitta
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Acha starch was isolated and purified from clean and milled acha grain. Functional, thermal and physicochemical properties of acha starch were analysed using appropriate methods. Wheat starch was used as the reference standard. Acha bread from acha grain was baked and the consumer sensory acceptability was evaluated and white wheat bread was used as the reference standard. The effect of baking, boiling, steaming and microwaving on the starch and glycemic properties of the acha starch was evaluated. With regard to thermal properties, gelatinisation temperature of acha and iburu starches typifies that of waxy starch. Acha starch has similar retrogradation temperature profiles as that of wheat. There were however significant differences in some of the functional properties (pasting and turbidity) and physico-chemical properties (in vitro starch digestibility), but no significant difference in the texture profile analysis (TPA) and water binding capacity (WBC). WBC of both acha varieties was higher than that for wheat starch. Due to its high break down viscosity, white acha starch can be included in foods that are subjected to high temperature processing. This indicates that both acha starch varieties can be used for hot and cold desserts as well as for soft jelly like sweets and confectionery toppings. A prescreening exercise using carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC), Xanthan gum, yeast and acha starch as the variables was successful in concluding a recipe which rendered acha bread with the optimum specific loaf volume for both white and black acha bread. The optimum recipe consisted 8.0 % acha starch, 2.0 % xanthan gum, 2.0 % CMC and 1.0 % yeast. The majority of the consumer panellists found the crust colour, taste and aroma to be moderately desirable. This implies that most consumers find acha bread to have the potential to be marketed as wheat free bread. The different processing methods baking, boiling, microwaving and steaming, affected the black and white acha starch hydrolysis. The amount of starch hydrolysed for the different processing methods was in the following order: baking > boiling > microwaving > steaming. It can thus be concluded that different processing methods affects the micro structure and physical properties of the acha and wheat samples which thus influence their starch hydrolysis. The equilibrium percentage of starch hydrolysed after 180 min incubation was affected differently for the various starches, black acha, white acha and wheat starch by the different processing methods and times. In the case of baking black acha starch and wheat bread were affected similarly. However, this was not the case for microwaving, steaming and boiling, where both acha starch varieties and wheat starch were affected in the same way. The rate of starch hydrolysis for both acha varieties and wheat grain for the different processing methods, steaming, boiling, microwaving and baking was affected to the same degree respectively.