Talens, C.; Garcia-Fontanals, L.; Fabregat, P.; Ibargüen, M. Rational Food Design Targeting Micronutrient Deficiencies in Adolescents: Nutritional, Acoustic-Mechanical and Sensory Properties of Chickpea-Rice Biscuits. Foods2023, 12, 952.
Talens, C.; Garcia-Fontanals, L.; Fabregat, P.; Ibargüen, M. Rational Food Design Targeting Micronutrient Deficiencies in Adolescents: Nutritional, Acoustic-Mechanical and Sensory Properties of Chickpea-Rice Biscuits. Foods 2023, 12, 952.
"Hidden hunger", the deficiency of important mineral micronutrients, affects more than 2 billion people globally. Adolescence is unquestionably a period of nutritional risk, given the high nutritional requirements for growth and development, erratic or capricious diets and the increased consumption of snacks. This study applied the rational food design approach to obtain micronutrient-dense biscuits by combining chickpea and rice flours to achieve an optimal nutritional profile, crunchy texture and appealing flavour. The perception of 33 adolescents of the suitability of such biscuits as a mid-morning snack was examined. Four biscuits were formulated, with different ratios of chickpea and rice flours (CF:RF): G100:0, G75:25, G50:50 and G25:75. Nutritional content, baking loss, acoustic-texture and sensory analyses were carried out. On average, the mineral content of biscuits with the CF:RF ratio of 100:0 doubled compared with the 25:75 formula. The dietary reference values for iron, potassium and zinc reached 100% in the biscuits with CF:RF ratios of 50:50, 75:25 and 100:0, respectively. The analysis of mechanical properties revealed that samples G100:0 and G75:25 were harder than the others. Sample G100:0 showed the highest sound pressure level (Smax). Sensory analysis showed that increasing the proportion of CF in the formulation augments the grittiness, hardness, chewiness and crunchiness. Most of the adolescents (72.7%) were habitual snack consumers; 52% awarded scores ≥ 6 to biscuit G50:50 for its overall quality, 24% described its flavour as "biscuit" and 12% as "nutty". However, 55% of the participants could not pinpoint any dominant flavour. In conclusion, it is possible to design nutrient-dense snacks that meet the micronutrient requirements and sensory expectations of adolescents by combining flours naturally rich in micronutrients.
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