Extrusion is the process where raw material (such as maize meal) is cooked in an extruder at a high pressure and temperature, resulting in a cooked, dry product within seconds. Due to the quick cooking process, the digestibility, nutrient consumption and taste of the product is enhanced. However, the greatest advantage of the extrusion process is that vitamins and minerals can be added to the dry product AFTER the cooking process. The only preparation needed for the consumer is to add milk or water to this powdered, dry product.
Here are the top nutritional benefits of extruded food products.
- Boost immune system
- Improve heart health
- Healthy brain development
- Affordable nutritional meals made from locally produced agricultural products
Let’s have a look at the individual contents of extruded products to analyze these improvements.
For a protein-based as well as protein-enriched extruded products, soya and whey are used, which can increase the nutritional value of the final product. The raw plant contains inactivated enzymes that might be unstabilized versions.
Soybeans have high nutritional content and positive sensory and physiological benefits. As they are plant-based proteins, they reduce the risk of heart disease. They have also been proven to promote lipoproteins and hyperlipidemia. Soybeans are also popular as they reduce cholesterol levels, due to which it is increasingly added to various foods.
Soy proteins allow extruded products to be consumed, as it has a positive effect on the extruded products and their properties. Soybeans are used as they reduce antinutritional factors and, as a result, improve the nutritional benefits as they efficiently use energy.
Dietary fibers are the parts of the plants that humans can consume, and they are divided into two groups.
- Soluble dietary fibers
- Insoluble dietary fibers
Dietary fibers have numerous health benefits for the human body, as they reduce the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and colon cancer. They also slow down the digestion and absorption of carcinogens that could cause cancer.
They promote normal laxation and reduce obesity, along with reducing cholesterol levels. These then help reduce the risk of heart disease when they get older.
Barley is one of many agricultural products conditioned to be used in extruded products; it promotes the thickness of the intestine. It can also improve immunity. The extrusion process allows the barley to be absorbed by the body in a higher amount.
Other bioactive components are also added to reduce the risk of major chronic diseases. These can be derived from legumes, fruits or vegetables.
It’s essential to have top-quality equipment to get extruded products that are packed with high nutrition content with the right ingredients. Temperature control, moisture content, and screw speed are the main components that factor in.