Enriched products are the food of the future
Researchers at the Vytautas Magnus University Agriculture Academy, conducting research, have found that corn chips enriched with tomato or beet flour acquire much more health-promoting properties, and oatmeal cookies enriched with cranberry seeds are a source of protein, high in unsaturated fats and fiber.
“Tomato flour contains significant amounts of lycopene and β-carotene. Our aim was to find out whether the combination of this product with other ingredients will also have health-promoting properties,” says Dr. Elvyra Jarienė, Professor of the Faculty of Agronomy of the Vytautas Magnus University Agriculture Academy.
The research team decided to enrich corn chips with tomato flour, in which neither lycopene nor β-carotene is normally detected.
“And we got great results,” says E. Jarienė. “The main value of tomatoes is that they contain a special carotenoid – lycopene. It is a unique natural remedy for many diseases, and especially for prostate, lung and stomach cancer”.
A significant concentration of bioactive pigments betalains is found in corn chips flavored with different ingredient – beetroot flour. They have a strong antioxidant effect, which helps protect against free radical damage.
Among the valuable products from which flour, chips or snacks can be made, scientists have classified various types of pumpkin and Jerusalem artichokes. The latter, due to the harvest obtained twice a season and the naturally sweeter taste, should also be of interest to people who see new business opportunities.
After summarizing the results of the research conducted together with the co-authors, Prof. Dr. E. Jarienė and Assoc. Prof. Dr. A. Paulauskienė presented a report on the inclusion of biologically valuable products in family nutrition at the “Forum of the Future of Regions”.
The renewed nutrition pyramid, according to them, pays special attention to water, vegetables, greens, whole grains, legumes. Meanwhile, products of animal origin should account for only 20 per cent of total food consumption per day. Lithuanian, organic, with less salt and no added sugar – these keywords are recommended by scientists when choosing products.
“We conducted the research together with the students of the Vytautas Magnus University Agriculture Academy, and we offered to produce some products for both farmers and business representatives,” says E. Jarienė.
According to her, consumers are already reading labels more carefully, searching for products that are more useful to health, so there is no doubt that the food of the future will be more healthy. Researchers are also taking this into account when looking for new combinations of different products.