Bengaluru: At the core of it, the garden variety popcorn is nothing but a bloated grain of corn that you munch as you watch the latest multiplex movie. Substitute the corn for any of the cereal grains native to India such as jowar (sorghum) or millets and you’d do a lot of good to yourself and to the small farmers that grow them.
The Indian Institute of Millet believes that puffed grain of any of these lesser known but more nutritious cereals can be made and marketed to snackers. The Hyderabad-based research institution has developed a technology by which one can produce snackable puffs of not just jowar, but also pearl millet (bajra) and foxtail millet.
The texture is similar to popcorn and they can be flavoured to taste.
The puffing technology developed by the institute is being promoted at the National Horticulture Fair here. Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, IIMR NutriHub technical assistant Sai Prashant said the kiosk has received more than 50 enquiries in the last two days about setting up puff-making machines in Karnataka. “Many visitors have shown interest in the machine after tasting the puffs,” he said.
Millets are puffed up by a process of explosive puffing, or gun puffing, which achieves maximum expansion while keeping the integrity of the grain.
The machine delivers a ready-to-eat (RTE) snack.
The bajra puffs are greenish-creamy in colour and very crispy. The shelf life is three weeks to a month after packing in air-tight pouches at ambient temperature.
The variants available roasted, masala-coated and fried. It can be served as an in-flight snack or a generic evening snack....