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Nutrients in millets affected by processing and polishing


Source: The Hindu


Context: Recent studies have shown that grain processing reduces nutritional qualities in millets.


About Millets:

  • Millets are grasses and include varieties such as pearl millet, barnyard millet, finger millet, and foxtail millet.
  • India is the world’s largest producer of millets, accounting for over 40% of pearl millet production and over 8% of sorghum production in 2021-2022.
  • Millets are drought-tolerant and thrive on marginal land. Their nutrient content includes carbohydrates, proteins, fibre, amino acids, and various minerals, and different millet varieties have different nutrient profiles.


Nutrient Changes during Millet Processing:

Processing Step Effect on Nutrients
Removal of Husk Reduction of phytic acid and polyphenol contents
Decortication Removal of crude and dietary fibre
Milling and Sieving Reduction of nutrient content due to loss of bran, but improved digestibility and accessibility
Germination and Fermentation Positive improvement in overall nutritional characteristics
Polishing Removal of protein, fat, and fibre contents, as well as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and manganese