Use of fermented quinoa flour for pasta making and evaluation of the technological and nutritional features
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Pasta was prepared by replacing 20% of semolina with native and fermented quinoa flour and the effects of substitution on the technological and nutritional characteristics were evaluated. The addition of quinoa reflected the chemical composition of pasta, which had higher fiber, protein, and free amino acids content than semolina pasta, particularly in the case of pasta containing quinoa flour fermented with selected lactic acid bacteria. Furthermore, free amino acids, total phenols, and the antioxidant activity of pasta prepared with fermented quinoa flour were up to twice as high than the other types of pasta. When fermented quinoa flour was used, the water absorption during cooking was the lowest, even though cooking loss was also observed. The use of quinoa flour affected the textural characteristics of pasta, increased the tenacity and, when fermented, also the elasticity. The effects of quinoa fermentation were evident on the nutritional quality of fortified pasta, showing the highest in vitro protein digestibility, protein nutritional indices (Essential Amino Acid Index, Biological Value, Protein Efficiency Ratio, and Nutritional Index), as well as lowest predicted glycemic index. These results indicate the positive effect of fermented quinoa flour on pasta fortification.