​In the realm of healthy eating, whole grains have gained significant recognition for their nutritional value and contribution to a balanced diet. Health organizations worldwide recommend incorporating whole grains into daily meals due to their numerous health benefits. While whole grains and dietary fiber are often confused, they provide distinct advantages. Whole grains consist of the bran, germ, and endosperm, offering fiber, starch, protein, antioxidants, fatty acids, and phytochemicals.
Over the past five years, whole grain-enriched foods have expanded beyond the nutrition bar and diet cereal categories. Today, whole grains can be found in a wide range of products, including breakfast cereals, snack foods, co-extruded products, flatbreads, and pasta. While most whole-grain foods are made from ground flour or meal containing all three layers of the grain kernel, there is a growing trend of using visible whole grains to enhance the natural appearance and authentic mouthfeel of the final product.

Twin-screw extrusion: A game-changer for whole grain snacksTwin-screw extrusion has revolutionized the production of healthy whole-grain snacks, offering a flexible tool to create a new palette of delightful and nutritious foods. Unlike traditional whole-grain formulations, which often result in a heavier texture and denser mouthfeel, twin- screw extrusion technology enables the production of crispy, expanded products with an open cell structure. The intermeshing screws of the twin-screw extruder facilitate necessary micro-mixing, while precise temperature and pressure regulation within individual barrel modules ensure market-quality multigrain chips that consumers love. By adjusting ingredient mix and processing parameters such as temperature, pressure, screw speed, and configuration, twin-screw technology can transform up to 100% whole-grain formulas into palatable snacks.

For relevant conferences and workshops regarding food & feed extrusion, visit www.ExtruAfrica.org.za. The next available course is taking place in August 2023, in Kenya. This course will focus on the applications of extrusion for developing countries. It is focused on technical and practical applications of extrusion and presented by international industry expert, Prof Mian Riaz from Texas A&M University.

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