Indan Journal of Medical Research Indan Journal of Medical Research Indan Journal of Medical Research Indan Journal of Medical Research
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 152  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 401-409

Assessment of quality of minor millets available in the south Indian market & glycaemic index of cooked unpolished little & foxtail millet


1 Department of Foods Nutrition & Dietetics Research, Madras Diabetes Research Foundation, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Food Science, M.O.P Vaishnav College for Women, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
3 Department of Diabetology, Madras Diabetes Research Foundation, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
4 Clinical Nutritional Sciences, Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences, Brenner Centre for Molecular Medicine, Medical Drive, Singapore

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Shanmugam Shobana
Department of Foods Nutrition & Dietetics Research, Madras Diabetes Research Foundation, Chennai 600 086, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijmr.IJMR_2309_18

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Background & objectives: Millets are widely marketed as healthier alternatives to white rice (WR). This study was conducted with two aims: firstly, to look at the nature and quality of minor millets available in the Chennai market and secondly, to estimate the glycaemic index (GI) of unpolished forms of the two most widely available minor millets, i.e. little (LM) and foxtail millet (FXM). Methods: A market survey was conducted of 100 food stores in four zones of Chennai, south India. Morphological features of market millet samples were compared with that of unpolished millets under stereo-zoom microscope, and the claims declared on the pack were evaluated. A consumer perception survey was conducted among 20 minor millet-consuming female homemakers. Finally, the GI of unpolished LM and FXM was evaluated using a validated protocol in 12 healthy volunteers. Results: Forty eight brands of minor millets were available, with LM and FXM being the most common. Most of the millet samples were identified as highly polished grains using stereo-zoom microscope. The product labels were misleading and showed no scientific backing for claims mentioned on the label. Most participants (12 of 20) were unaware of the fact that millets can also be polished like rice. Both LM and FXM exhibited high GI (88.6±5.7 and 88.6±8.7, respectively). Interpretation & conclusions: The availability and knowledge regarding unpolished millets was low. Both LM and FXM exhibited high GI. Hence, substituting millets for WR might be of limited benefit considering the glycaemic property in the prevention and management of chronic non-communicable diseases such as T2DM.


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