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Quantification of folate in the main steps of traditional processing of tef injera, a cereal based fermented staple food

Tamene, Aynadis, Kariluoto, Susanna, Baye, Kaleab, Humblot, Christèle
Journal of cereal science 2019 v.87 pp. 225-230
Eragrostis tef, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, batters, children, cooking, fermentation, flat breads, flour, folic acid, gluten-free foods, nutrient intake, oats, pasta, staple foods, traditional technology, vitamin B deficiency, whole grain foods, women
Injera is an Ethiopian fermented flatbread preferably made from whole grain cereal (tef). Tef it is increasingly used to produce gluten-free pasta and bread, but the folate content of teff and products made from it remains unknown. Given that folate deficiencies lead to several health disorders, the aim of this study was to quantify folate in each of the three main steps of traditional processing of tef injera. Total folate contents of tef flour, fermented batter and injera were determined through microbiological assays using Lactobacillus rhamnosus (ATCC 7469). Folate content of tef flour was 8.7 μg/100 g of dry matter content, which is in the same range as the richest cereals like oats. The increase in folate content due to fermentation was highly variable (60–148%). Cooking always led to folate losses, with a maximum of 52.8%. Altogether, injera processing increased folate retention between 38.0 and 121.8%. Folate content of injera was 14.3 μg/100 g on fresh weight-basis. Tef injera can contribute up to 10% of the recommended nutrient intake of folate for children aged 1–3 and women of reproductive age. Although the folate content of teff is already high, future studies should focus on optimizing the folate content of injera.