|Washington State University’s Girish Ganjyal, assistant professor of food science and Extension food processing specialist, is making a healthy alternative to a popular snack. Snack puffs and cereal are one of the most popular foods around, with $70 billion worth sold around the world last year. Many of the most popular snack foods available in stores today do not have the best nutritional value, as they are loaded with carbohydrates from refined starches and stripped of almost all their fiber. Instead of encouraging people not to eat these popular snack foods, Professor Ganjyal is working to find ways to make these snack foods healthier with a high-fiber nutrition boost.
With funding from the USDA, Professor Ganjyal is starting a four-year, $450,000 research project to keep the taste and texture of these puffs while ensuring high-fiber content. To do this, Professor Ganjyal will put high-fiber foods such as apples and carrots into the recipe instead of relying on carbohydrates from refined starches, which are popularly used in puff snacks today. In order to keep the crisp texture, Professor Ganjyal uses sophisticated instruments to go down to the molecular level to see how pomace, the nutritious pulp found in the fruits he uses, connects with starch in order to keep the “puff” quality of the snacks. By doing this, he is creating a healthier recipe for making puff snacks without sacrificing taste and texture.
Through this research, Professor Ganjyal hopes to share this snack producing method with snack producers to help create healthier snacks. By creating healthier options for snacks, Professor Ganjyal is helping to fight obesity, diabetes and other health problems associated with consuming unhealthy snacks. By creating healthy puffs, people can still enjoy their favorite snacks without losing the taste and texture that they have come to love.
To learn more about this tasty research from Washington State University, read more here.
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