Wednesday, 29 Nov 2023

Quinoa can make a better cookie

The “super grain” quinoa has the potential to make a super cookie, according to research by Washington State University.

In a study published in the Journal of Food Science, WSU researchers show that two types of quinoa, bred specifically to grow in Washington state, had great functionality as a potential high-fiber, high-protein additive flour for commercial cookies. This means when baked, the cookies had good “spreadability” and texture.

Taste tests are still underway, but preliminary results show that people preferred sugar cookies with 10% of the quinoa flour over a traditional all-wheat flour cookie.

“It’s the Holy Grail for food scientists: we want to develop something that people love to eat and want to go buy and buy again — and now we’re adding some fiber in without them even knowing it,” said Girish Ganjyal, a WSU food scientist and the study’s corresponding author.

Originating in South America, quinoa has a host of nutritional benefits: it is high in fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. It is also gluten-free. While the grain is popular with health enthusiasts, it has yet to take off with many mainstream consumers. WSU researchers are working to change that.

While no official counts are available, WSU plant breeder Kevin Murphy estimates that quinoa is grown on more than 5,000 acres in the Pacific Northwest currently, and more farmers are interested.

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