Millets are small‐seeded with different varieties such as pearl millet (Bajra), finger millet (Ragi), kodo (Kodon) millet, proso (Chena) millet, foxtail millet (Kangni), little millet (Moraiyo/ kutki), and barnyard (Sanwa)millet. Millets are gluten free and drought-resistant crops.
Millet grains, before consumption, are usually processed by commonly used traditional processing techniques include decorticating, malting, fermentation, roasting, flaking, and grinding to improve their edible, nutritional, and sensory properties.
With value‐added strategies and appropriate processing technologies, the millet grains can find a place in the preparation of several value‐added and health food products.
Millets can be processed to manufacture
- Malt for beer,
- various types of pasta (such as vermicelli),
- bakery products (such as pan bread, muffins)
- And extruded snacks.
Decortication, milling, and sieving are some of the mechanical processing technologies used to dehull, remove bran, and convert the grains into flour.
Traditional or bioprocess technologies that are used in millet processing include germination, malting, fermentation, enzymatic hydrolyzation, soaking and cooking, and puffing. Popping or puffing is one of the traditional food processing methods used to prepare ready‐to‐eat products.
“ Soaking& cooking of millet grains are popular processing techniques and are often used as pre-treatments to reduce antinutritional compounds in the millets.”
Food Formulation & Manufacturing
Here are few of the popular millet products available in the market:
Foxtail Millet Puffs: It is an RTE snack which is developed using puff gun machine. These puffs are crispy in nature and are available in many variants, such as masala coated puffs, fried puffs.
Instant Millet Laddu Mix: The instant laddu mix is a popular convenient product and is aimed to target health-conscious ‘garb-and-go’ consumer. The mix has to be mixed with ghee or milk to make round balls before serving.
Millets Pasta: It is usually prepared using cold extrusion technology. It can be made by blending millet with wheat semolina or rice flour.
Millet Cookies: Cookies are popular ready-to-eat product consumed by different age groups in a family. Cookie of 100% millets is prepared using a planetary mixer, automatic cookie making machine and rotary oven. Pure millet biscuits have high fiber content, low sugar and low-fat content.
Millet Cake: It is rich in fiber and micronutrients. The mixture of flour, sugar, fat and flavoring ingredients is baked in an oven, and then the product obtained is cooled & packed.