Coconut flour a healthy product, say researchers

Kochi: A study on coconut flour by two academics has revealed that it is a promising substitute for all purpose flour for baking besides having healthy properties on account of its high fibre content.

The study was conducted for over a year by Lalitha Ramaswamy, Head of the Nutrition Department at the PSG College of Arts and Sciences, Coimbatore, along with S.R. Priya.

"Coconut flour is a rich source of dietary fibre, protein and low in digestable carbohydrates and is good for preventing cancer, heart ailments and diabetes. Another feature of this product is that this is gluten free," Ramaswamy told IANS.

She explained that the process of producing coconut flour is done by grating the coconut and letting it dry after washing it thoroughly and removing the oil. Once dried, it is then powdered to be used as flour.

The nutritional composition of coconut flour was found to have nutrients like energy of 485.76 kcal per 100g besides 57.42g of carbohydrate, 17.86g of protein, 15.81g of fat and 30g of fibre.

Among the various culinary use of coconut flour is that it can be added in porridge to slow down the sudden increase in blood sugar. It can also be mixed with beverages, soups, hot cereals and for making cookies and rusk.

"This product is at present not available in India but in the US and other western countries, where coconut is not grown.

"The need of the hour is with the technology now available for making this, companies and entrepreneurs here should come forward to set up units," said Ramaswamy.

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