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Could Green Banana Pasta be on Your Plate Soon?

Celiac.com 08/24/2012 - Tired of the standard choices for gluten-free pasta? If researchers at the University of Brazil have their way, you may soon be enlivening your current gluten-free choices with pasta made from the flour of green bananas.

Photo: CC--zenobia_joyThe researchers included Renata Puppin Zandonadi, PhD, Raquel Braz Assunção Botelho, PhD, Lenora Gandolfi, PhD, Janini Selva Ginani, MSc, Flávio Martins Montenegro, MSc, and Riccardo Pratesi, PhD.

According to an article in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the team found a way to make pasta out of green banana flour. The flour is completely gluten-free, and the pasta compares favorably with pasta made from whole wheat, according to taste test results.

Currently, green bananas are regarded an undesirable product, with low commercial value, and limited industrial use. In an effort to change that reality, the researchers set out to develop and analyze a gluten-free pasta made with green banana flour.

When they tested their finished product, they found "no significant difference between the modified pasta and standard samples in terms of appearance, aroma, flavor, and overall quality," study researcher Renata Puppin Zandonadi, PhD, of the University of Brazil, said in a statement.

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For the study, researchers had 50 people without celiac disease, and 25 with celiac disease, taste whole wheat pasta made with eggs, and compare it with pasta made from green banana flour, egg whites, gums and water.

Both the test group with celiac disease and the group without celiac disease reported that the banana flour pasta tasted better overall than the whole wheat pasta.

If the project pans out, it could be a win-win-win, offering banana growers and pasta product makers a way to expand their markets, and offering consumers of gluten-free pasta a new and delicious alternative.

What do you think about the idea of gluten-free pasta made from green bananas? Share your comments below.


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11 Responses:

 
dappycharlie
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said this on
27 Aug 2012 7:09:54 AM PDT
I can now only eat corn pasta - the rice pasta is so mushy as to be inedible, even when cooked al dente. So if they can come up with something closer to "real" pasta - GREAT !!

 
Susan Z
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said this on
27 Aug 2012 8:00:38 AM PDT
OK, but how digestible is it? I would never eat a green banana because I feel it would be more resistant to breaking down and being absorbed by the gut, which would create more food for the bacteria way down below, causing a lot of gas.

Often folks with celiac disease don't have the optimal amount or types of gut bacteria to handle this sort of unripe food.

Save it for those with diabetes who need resistant start to slow food from turning to blood sugar.

 
Regina
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said this on
27 Aug 2012 4:51:23 PM PDT
Hi Susan, it will be digestible. People in the Caribbean have been eating boiled green bananas and green banana porridge for centuries. I am celiac and I eat them. I just had the most delicious green banana porridge made with coconut milk last month, very nutritious also. Google and you will see recipes and nutritional info.
Take care.

 
Dot
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said this on
27 Aug 2012 11:53:57 AM PDT
Sounds good to me. I love bananas.

 
ALC
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said this on
27 Aug 2012 12:22:47 PM PDT
Can't wait!

 
Montie Vogt
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said this on
27 Aug 2012 1:48:13 PM PDT
Sounds great! Hope it works out.

 
Brian
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said this on
27 Aug 2012 3:43:45 PM PDT
Sounds Fantastic! I am all for finding a better gluten-free pasta.

 
Ruth
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said this on
27 Aug 2012 5:04:32 PM PDT
This is great. I'm pretty sure that a flour made out green plantains would be good. In Puerto Rico we make "pasteles", they are made with the masa from green plantains and green bananas.

 
Lara
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said this on
27 Aug 2012 5:11:42 PM PDT
I think this sounds great and would DEFINITELY try it! And "dappycharlie" - I can't eat the rice pastas either - texture is AWFUL - and I am allergic to corn but, LOVE the texture and taste of the potato, soy and rice blend pasta. Don't know if I am allowed to say brands but, Bionaturae is our favorite!

 
Maggie
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said this on
28 Aug 2012 12:58:50 PM PDT
Sounds interesting! And hopefully better-cooking and -tasting than rice or corn pasta (which usually turns out mushy), or quinoa pasta, which cooks and cooks and still doesn't seem done! And, just as long as it doesn't TASTE like green bananas, it gives me hope!

 
Arthur
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said this on
30 Aug 2012 11:47:57 AM PDT
This is very promising. There is a company in Marin County working on introducing the flour commercially in the Bay Area. Stay tuned.




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REALLY odd call out here, I am attending a anime convention called A-Fest in Dallas come August, I need someone to split the room with it who is gluten-free. I take extra precautions, I COOK all the food, bring only CERTIFIED foods into the room, The room will be Gluten Free, Corn Free, Dairy Free, Peanut Free. I am trying to find someone to split the room cost with, that would be safe to be around I CAN NOT AFFORD to get sick at one of these things, it is one of my few joys left in life and get very paranoid around them. So I need someone who is also gluten-free to make sure the room stays safe (YES I have done with with a non celiac with the rules down and well stuff happens so not chancing it). Room split is food coverage comes to $400 if it is just two people. 4 day convention, I will arrange a meal plan around your diet as long as it is free of my allergens. I will also provide various snacks, baked goods, and even stuff to take home with you. https://animefest.org/ ^Convention info.

Hi Jennifer, This thread might have some information that would help you. Your doctors are pretty lame IMHO. Perhaps you can find a celiac group in your area that has local meetings for support. They might also suggest a different doctor who knows how to treat celiac patients.

All the above posts are full of good advice. What I'd like to add is, if you have coeliac disease and continue to eat gluten, you run the risk of other autoimmune diseases in the future as well as osteoporosis, malnutrition and even cancer, so even if you had no symptoms at the beginning, and may also not have any symptoms if you eat gluten (not all coeliacs do), the damage is still being done to your gut and the rest of your body, so please be aware of this.

You could possibly try calling the places in Texas and Chicago to see if they can refer you somewhere that does accept your insurance. Oh good luck to you!

Hi Jennifer and welcome CyclingLady has given you some good advice above. You want certainty and that's entirely understandable. Go back to your doctors and explain that you need to know a little more and hopefully they will engage positively with you. If they don't, then do pursue a second opinion. I just wanted to address your last paragraph quoted above. The problem with celiac, or in my case non celiac gluten sensitivity, is that it presents or doesn't present in so many different ways. It can do hidden damage which may take many years to become apparent. It can impact in ways which are incredibly difficult to recognise or isolate. I am 'lucky' in that the way that gluten impacts on me is far worse than any mental or social isolation brought upon by the diet, so motivation is easy for me, even without the certainty of a celiac diagnosis, there really is no alternative, I don't think I'd last long on a gluten diet now. But I can well understand how difficult it may be to stay honest on the diet if you don't have any symptoms to deal with. The diet can be isolating, there does become a distance between you and 'normal' people. Who would want to deal with all that if they didn't have to? If you aren't satisfied with your doctors responses and choose to go back onto gluten I suggest you find another doctor and go back into the diagnostic process and properly exclude celiac, including a scope. Otherwise you could be taking a big risk with yr long term health. You may find that this process supplies you with an answer as if your diagnosis was correct your response to the reintroduction of gluten may surprise you, or not of course! best of luck!