CTCRI Creates Food Items Utilising A Tuber-Millet Combination

By Outlook Planet Desk May 06, 2023

It has introduced cookies made from cassava and ragi and is now developing snacks, pasta for pre-schoolers 

CTCRI Creates Food Items Utilising A Tuber-Millet Combination
Central Tuber Crops Research Institute has recently launched a Millet Museum in its premises.

In order to create a variety of value-added food products with high nutritional content and appeal, the Central Tuber Crops Research Institute (CTCRI) in Thiruvananthapuram is experimenting with tuber-millet combinations.

As part of a programme introduced in conjunction with the International Year of Millets celebration, the CTCRI has developed a plan to develop products using locally accessible tubers and millets, such as analogue rice (artificial rice made from non-rice ingredients), snacks, pasta, and nutritious foods for preschoolers.

The CTCRI has introduced cookies made from cassava (tapioca) and ragi (finger millet) as a first step in this direction. According to CTCRI Director G. Byju, "Milta," as the product is known, is the first of numerous fortified goods made from tubers and millets, two groups of crops that are crucial for the food basket.

CTCRI, a constituent institute of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), encourages research and development (R&D) in tropical tuber crops and has, over the years, created a variety of culinary products based on tubers, including crispy nibbles, pasta, and noodles. Since 2023 has been designated as the International Year of Millets, the institute is devoting close attention to millets this year.

The fact that millets have a higher protein content and are rich in dietary fibre and micronutrients than tubers, which are abundant in carbs, makes millet-tuber combos relevant. Products made from tubers frequently have additives like whey protein concentrate added to them to make them more palatable.

One item that ranks highly on the CTCRI list is rice that is made from an analogue of millet and tuber. The finished product, which resembles rice in both size and shape, is anticipated to be nutrient-rich and showcase the greatest qualities of both crops. 

Millet museum

Through the cultivation of several millets, including fox tail millet, tiny millet, finger millet, barnyard millet, pearl millet, kodo millet, proso millet, sorghum, and brown top millet, the CTCRI, a division of ICAR, has begun a millet museum on its campus in Thiruvananthapuram. As a part of the campaign for the International Year of Millets in 2023, this aims to educate people about the importance of millets in our daily diet. To highlight the significance of millets in the human diet, a year's worth of events have been planned, according to G. Byju, who launched the museum.