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Nutritional and Health Benefits of Millets

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The importance of nutrition as a foundation for healthy development is underestimated. Now-a-days people are very conscious about their healthy living practices to overcome metabolic disorders and life style diseases. This publication deals with the review on the scientific empirical studies on the nutritional aspects, functional aspects and health benefits of millets from seed structure to processed products, which are conducted in India and elsewhere across the globe. Further, it deals elaborately with nutritional evaluation of the value added sorghum product technologies that have been developed and standardized under the IIMR-led consortium of NAIP sub-project on millets value chain conducted by NIN. The products have shown to have high nutritional values and the micronutrient studies conducted have reported, these to have relatively low glycemic index and glycemic load. Sorghum/millet processed products recipes and the method of preparation are embedded with content that can be of some use to various stakeholders, researchers, academic fraternity, consumers and entrepreneurs which is timely and is expected to help the researchers. It is hoped that the results published will create awareness and ensure that the highly nutritious millets consumption is popularized worldwide.
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... A huge portion of the total world's millet produce comes from India, Africa, and China. The Asian and African millets include finger millet (Eleusine coracana), foxtail millet (Setaria italica), pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum), barnyard millet (Echinochloa spp.), kodo millet (Paspalum scrobiculatum), proso millet (Panicum miliaceum), and little millet (Panicum sumatrense) (Rao et al. 2017). Whereas, Tef (Eragrostic tef) and Fonio (Digitaria exilis) are indigenous to Africa (Bhat et al. 2018). ...
... They possess a high nutritional value in comparison to several main cereals like wheat, rice, sorghum, and maize. Millets are nutritionally significant as they contain a high amount of roughage (18%), a high calcium content (0.38%), and rich content of phenolic compounds (0.3-3%) (Rao et al. 2017). Millets contain proteins abundant in essential amino acids such as tryptophan, threonine, and sulphur-containing amino acids (Shah et al. 2021a, b). ...
... A huge portion of the total world's millet produce comes from India, Africa, and China. The Asian and African millets include finger millet (Eleusine coracana), foxtail millet (Setaria italica), pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum), barnyard millet (Echinochloa spp.), kodo millet (Paspalum scrobiculatum), proso millet (Panicum miliaceum), and little millet (Panicum sumatrense) (Rao et al. 2017). Whereas, Tef (Eragrostic tef) and Fonio (Digitaria exilis) are indigenous to Africa (Bhat et al. 2018). ...
... They possess a high nutritional value in comparison to several main cereals like wheat, rice, sorghum, and maize. Millets are nutritionally significant as they contain a high amount of roughage (18%), a high calcium content (0.38%), and rich content of phenolic compounds (0.3-3%) (Rao et al. 2017). Millets contain proteins abundant in essential amino acids such as tryptophan, threonine, and sulphur-containing amino acids (Shah et al. 2021a, b). ...
... A huge portion of the total world's millet produce comes from India, Africa, and China. The Asian and African millets include finger millet (Eleusine coracana), foxtail millet (Setaria italica), pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum), barnyard millet (Echinochloa spp.), kodo millet (Paspalum scrobiculatum), proso millet (Panicum miliaceum), and little millet (Panicum sumatrense) (Rao et al. 2017). Whereas, Tef (Eragrostic tef) and Fonio (Digitaria exilis) are indigenous to Africa (Bhat et al. 2018). ...
... They possess a high nutritional value in comparison to several main cereals like wheat, rice, sorghum, and maize. Millets are nutritionally significant as they contain a high amount of roughage (18%), a high calcium content (0.38%), and rich content of phenolic compounds (0.3-3%) (Rao et al. 2017). Millets contain proteins abundant in essential amino acids such as tryptophan, threonine, and sulphur-containing amino acids (Shah et al. 2021a, b). ...
Chapter
Ageing process is a crucial phenomenon of life that deals with the proceedings of deadly and unmodified changes by impairment of biomolecules (Proteins, Lipids, and DNA), cells, tissues, and organs. It is an inescapable event but it could be delayed via both genetic and dietary interventions. The proper use of natural compounds along with regulation of diet can be beneficial in overcoming premature death and age-related diseases. Natural compounds have been known to suppress the stress responsive pathways and induce the longevity pathways (DNA damage repair pathway). Phytochemicals represent high anti-ageing potential and other health-promoting properties. Among all plants/cereals, minor cereals like millets are a rich source of calcium, iron, methionine, high fibre, polyphenols, and secondary metabolites which exhibit various health-beneficial properties including anti-ageing potential. In this book chapter, prima facie we will address the role of phytochemicals that are found in millets. The main emphasis will be on finger millet and we will summarize the critical reports that are relevant to the significant health benefits along with anti ageing properties of phytochemicals from finger millet. Further, we will also discuss the underlying mechanisms of deferment of ageing and age-related diseases by phytochemicals of millets via affecting the processes like genetic repair, protein glycation, and stress responsive pathways. Furthermore, we will shed light on the well established phytochemicals for their significant use in anti-ageing drugs. In conclusion, we suggest and promote awareness about the development of novel formulations/ combinations based on millets to utilize their anti-ageing potential for human welfare.
... These millets are also known as the Italian millet. Its grain is used for human consumption and also as feed for poultry and cage birds 4 . Grain filled pouches are prone to insect infestation and product deterioration results owing to the presence of oxygen in the head space and intergranular spaces. ...
Article
Full-text available
Oxygen scavenging offers an oxygen free atmosphere inside packages that could help in controlling of insects and enhance the shelf-life of the packaged grains. An experiment was carried out by packing foxtail millet rice using four different packaging materials with and without T. castaneum and oxygen absorbers to assess their effect on the shelf life of grain by reducing oxidation of fatty acids during 2017-18 at UAS, GKVK, Bangalore. Results obtained from the study revealed that in treatments with oxygen scavenger and the T. castaneum which were released initially were dead due to complete evacuation of oxygen by oxygen absorbers from within the pouches, and no insects emerged throughout the experimental period. The extent of damage to grains in the pouches with oxygen scavenger was only 1.4-1.6%, which could have been the damage that existed even before filling up the pouches. On the other hand, the pouches without oxygen scavenger, the T. castaneum damage ranged from 6.4-11.6%. Nutritional composition was relatively unaffected in the pouches containing oxygen scavenger, as compare to the pouches without oxygen scavenger.
... In general, millets are rich in dietary fiber, resistant starch, oligosaccharides, lipids, antioxidants, minerals and B-complex vitamins (Banerjee and Maitra 2020). However, the anti-nutritional factors like phytates and tannins in millets affect the mineral bioavailability (Rao et al. 2017). Millets are enriched with important phytochemicals such as polyphenols, lignans, phytosterols, phyto-oestrogens and phytocyanins, which have potential health promoting benefits. ...
Chapter
Millets are coarse cereals with a heritage of consumption since early human civilizations from the Neolithic age. Millets exhibit diversity in grain size, structure and threshing characteristics. India is the largest producer of millets in the world. India, Nigeria and China together account for 55% of global millet production. Millet contains all essential nutrients like carbohydrates, dietary fibres, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals and is comparatively nutritious to fine cereals like wheat, barley, rice and maize. Industrialization and urbanization have already changed the food consumption pattern and in future the transformation to value‐added and energy‐rich food will further intensify, leading to tremendous challenges to agriculture. Food and nutritional security will add another dimension to the global food supply system. Furthermore, millets are considered as functional food and consumption of millets among health‐conscious people has recently increased.
... The best alternative crop for diversifying and intensifying winter wheat-based dryland production systems is Proso millet. Besides being a rich source of B vitamins (vitamin B 6 and folic acid), proso millet has improved glycaemic responses, which makes it a potential candidate for therapeutic intervention in type-2 diabetes (Rao et al., 2017). ...
Technical Report
Small millets are traditional staple food in dry land areas and are well known as Nutri-cereals due to high nutrient content. The most important cultivated species of small millets are Foxtail millet (Kangni), Finger millet (Mandua), Little millet (Kutki), Kodo millet, Barnyard millet (Jhangora), and Proso millet (Cheena). Minor millets are loaded with full of macro- and micro-nutrients like Ca, Mg, Mn, Zn, Fe, phosphorous, fibre, B complex vitamins. Millets have nutraceutical properties in the form of antioxidants which are essential to human body. These minor millets perform well in marginal land, require very less water for their cultivation and can withstand severe climatic conditions. Small millets are more environment friendly with high water use efficiency and low input requirement, which make them farmer friendly. Therefore, there is need to develop new high yielding varieties to increase the area under minor millets crops to achieve nutritional security in the country.
Article
Foxtail millet, originated from China and now cultivated worldwide, is a kind of high dietary fiber nutritious whole grain food, and has a high level of vitamins and proteins. Furthermore, foxtail millet has many positive effects on the adjuvant treatment of diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases because of the abundance in polyphenols. Nonetheless, foxtail millet has poor processing characteristics due to the absence of gluten, restricting the development of foxtail millet products. Studies have demonstrated that heat-moisture treatment, extrusion, superfine grinding, and microbial fermentation are promising methods to improve the processing qualities of foxtail millet. Heat-moisture treatment is helpful to increase the content of resistant starch but has less influence on other components, further reduce the GI value of foxtail millet. The extrusion has positive effects on improving the solubility of foxtail millet starch and increasing the contents of polyunsaturated fatty acid, linoleic and linolenic acids, and adverse effects on reducing the solubility of foxtail millet proteins and causing losses of nutrients due to Maillard reaction. Superfine grinding can reduce the particle size of foxtail millet to obtain a better mouthfeel of foxtail millet products. The superfine foxtail millet flour has better solubility, higher freeze-thaw stability, and lower gelatinization temperature. Microbial fermentation contributes positively to reducing the molecular weight and retrogradation value of foxtail millet starch, degrading rapidly digested starch, and improving the digestibility of foxtail millet protein. This paper briefly introduced the effects of different processing methods on foxtail millet nutrients, aiming to provide references for increasing the variety and improving the quality of foxtail millet products.
Chapter
Ensuring food and nutrition security to all is of prime importance. However, achieving it is an enormous challenge. Available data shows rise in hunger in many parts of the world. Agriculture in the present times faces several challenges, and versatile, less demanding, hardy, nutritious, sustainable crops such as small millets can play a role in mitigating this problem to some extent. Small millets are highly underutilized in comparison to major cereals. Overdependence on few plant species, viz., rice, wheat, maize, and potatoes has led to marginalization and neglect of small millets. Small millets are rich in energy, complex carbohydrates, micronutrients, and phytochemicals. Studies indicate that these can be effectively utilized to combat malnutrition including both undernutrition and overnutrition. Recent studies on children and adolescents showed that inclusion of small millets along with legumes and pulses in their diet brought about reduction in stunting, wasting, undernutrition, and improvement in height, weight, body mass index (BMI), and hemoglobin level. Owing to dietary fiber attributes, small millets can be utilized in dietary management of degenerative diseases like obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). These grains exhibit anticancerous property due to the presence of phytochemicals and being gluten free are highly useful for patients suffering from celiac disease. Therefore, these super foods have the potential of attaining food and nutritional security.
Article
Full-text available
Small millets are traditional grain crops have a long history of cultivation of more than 5000 years and widely grown in Indian subcontinent. They are the oldest food crops known to humans and possibly the first cereal grains to be used for domestic purpose. Being good sources of nutrients and phytochemicals, millets also sustain adverse climatic conditions thus helping to attain food and nutritional security. Banded leaf and sheath blight incited by Rhizoctonia solani Kuhn is one of the emerging malady in successful cultivation of millets. The pathogen has wide host range, most wide spread, destructive and versatile found in most parts of the world. R. solani is a species complex which includes several anastomosis groups (AGs) based on the hyphal fusion of different isolates which differ in their genotypic and phenotypic characters. Molecular approaches including DNA based sequence homology, restriction analysis of ribosomal DNA have been confirmed as reliable tools to differentiate isolates of R. solani into distinct clades. This review mainly focuses on the knowledge of several important aspects which includes importance of millets, banded blight disease, etiology of the disease and different control methods for the management of banded blight.
Article
The present study explored the properties of starches isolated from four different Indian varieties of barnyard millet. The amylose content ranged from 21.27 to 23.30% (db) and was highest for BMV2 (23.30%). Swelling power of millet starch varied from 2.10 to 18.80; while solubility ranged from 1.30 to 14.20. The peak viscosity (2492 RVU), the final viscosity (3832 RVU) and the setback viscosity (2077 RVU) were the highest for BMV3 as compared to that of other starches. The starches exhibited small spherical, large angular and large spherical granules with A‐type crystallinity and an average size of around 10 micrometers. The degree of crystallinity ranged from 25.7% (for BMV4) to 31.6% (for BMV1). The strong absorption bands from 3255 to 3260 cm‐1 were attributed to –OH stretching of polysaccharide skeleton. A higher yield and purity value suggests that barnyard millet starch can be exploited for commercial starch utilization.
Article
Full-text available
This study was conducted to investigate the affect of supplementation of sorghum flour with soy protein concentrate (SPC) on ash, protein, mineral composition (Cu, Ca, Fe, Na and K) amino acids profile and electrophoretic patterns of their blends. The protein contents were found to be 14, 68, 18, 22 and 26% for sorghum flour, SPC, meal one, meal two and meal three, respectively. However, their ash contents were 2.29, 6.51, 2.82, 3.01 and 3.67%, respectively. No significant difference (P≤0.05) in terms of the ash content was observed between meal one and two, while meal three was significantly different from the remaining meals. Mineral composition of the tested samples significantly differs between the meals (P≤0.05) Supplementation of sorghum flour with SPC showed a significant increase in lysine and threonine contents, with a slight increase in methionine level in meal one and two. Electrophoretic patterns of samples indicated the appearance of new bands in all blends as well as intensification of protein bands due to the interaction between the two native proteins.
Article
An understanding of the Glycemic Index (GI) values of foods or beverages can help dieticians to plan and direct patients/consumers to choose sensible, low GI foods that are believed to " reduce the risk of developing type-2 diabetes. The data on the GI values of different varieties of foods within India is very limited. Also effect of processing and cooking on GI of these foods is also scanty. Though millets production and consumption in India was decreased to post green revolution period, but recent diabetes prevalence rates (5-16%) have made people to rethink about millets in their diet because of high dietary fiber and other nutritional benefits. In view of this background, the current study was undertaken to determine the assessment of GI in popular varieties of jowar and correlation with in-vitro digestibility of wheat flour. Millets were milled into flour and coarse flour (rava) using Cyclone sample mill (UDYC, MODEL: 3010-019, USA) .These flours and Rava were subjected to various cooking procedures like Boiling, Roti making, porridge preparation, sweet preparation and determined the Invitro GI. Results revealed that the GI of the variety, white jowar (flour) was lower (49.85±0.29) than the yellow Jowar (flour) variety (52.56± 0.87). Similar trend was observed in GI values of rava for these jowar varieties. When these flours of jowar varieties were boiled their GI values decreased. Similar observations were made with wheat flour for boiling. The current study clearly indicated that both milling and cooking methods effected the GI of the food significantly (P<0.001). Dietary fiber, Resistant starch, rapidly digestible starch, Alpha amylase inhibitors are the major contributing factors for lower GI values.
Article
An understanding of the Glycemic Index (GI) values of foods or beverages can help dieticians to plan and direct patients/consumers to choose sensible, low GI foods that are believed to " reduce the risk of developing type-2 diabetes. The data on the GI values of different varieties of foods within India is very limited. Also effect of processing and cooking on GI of these foods is also scanty. Though millets production and consumption in India was decreased to post green revolution period, but recent diabetes prevalence rates (5-16%) have made people to rethink about millets in their diet because of high dietary fiber and other nutritional benefits. In view of this background, the current study was undertaken to determine the assessment of GI in popular varieties of jowar and correlation with in-vitro digestibility of wheat flour. Millets were milled into flour and coarse flour (rava) using Cyclone sample mill (UDYC, MODEL: 3010-019, USA) .These flours and Rava were subjected to various cooking procedures like Boiling, Roti making, porridge preparation, sweet preparation and determined the Invitro GI. Results revealed that the GI of the variety, white jowar (flour) was lower (49.85±0.29) than the yellow Jowar (flour) variety (52.56± 0.87). Similar trend was observed in GI values of rava for these jowar varieties. When these flours of jowar varieties were boiled their GI values decreased. Similar observations were made with wheat flour for boiling. The current study clearly indicated that both milling and cooking methods effected the GI of the food significantly (P<0.001). Dietary fiber, Resistant starch, rapidly digestible starch, Alpha amylase inhibitors are the major contributing factors for lower GI values.