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Published in Ingredients
Ripe banana flour as a source of antioxidants in cakes

About one-fifth of all bananas harvested become culls that are normally disposed of improperly. However, ripe banana pulp contains significant amounts of fibre and polyphenol compounds as well as a high content of simple sugars (61.06 g/100 g), making it suitable for sucrose replacement in bakery products.

Researchers from University of Valladolid, Spain, studied the feasibility of incorporating ripe banana flour (20 and 40% of replacement) in cake formulation and the results were published in Plant Foods for Human Nutrition journal.

. Physical, nutritional and sensory attributes of sponge and layer cakes were evaluated. The inclusion of ripe banana flour generally led to an increased batter consistency that hindered cake expansion, resulting in a slightly lower specific volume and higher hardness. This effect was minimised in layer cakes where differences in volume were only evident with the higher level of replacement. The lower volume and higher hardness contributed to the decline of the acceptability observed in the sensory test.

Unlike physical attributes, the banana flour inclusion significantly improved the nutritional properties of the cakes, bringing about an enhancement in dietary fibre, polyphenols and antioxidant capacity (up to a three-fold improvement in antioxidant capacity performance). Therefore, results showed that sugar replacement by ripe banana flour enhanced the nutritional properties of cakes, but attention should be paid to its inclusion level.