Millet Grains: Nutritional Quality, Processing, and Potential Health Benefits

Authors


Direct inquiries to author Shen (E-mail: shenqun@cau.edu.cn, demha3225@yahoo.com).

Abstract

 In the 21st century, climate changes, water scarcity, increasing world population, rising food prices, and other socioeconomic impacts are expected to generate a great threat to agriculture and food security worldwide, especially for the poorest people who live in arid and subarid regions. These impacts present a challenge to scientists and nutritionists to investigate the possibilities of producing, processing, and utilizing other potential food sources to end hunger and poverty. Cereal grains are the most important source of the world's food and have a significant role in the human diet throughout the world. As one of the most important drought-resistant crops, millet is widely grown in the semiarid tropics of Africa and Asia and constitutes a major source of carbohydrates and proteins for people living in these areas. In addition, because of their important contribution to national food security and potential health benefits, millet grain is now receiving increasing interest from food scientists, technologists, and nutritionists. The aim of this work was to review the recent advances in research carried out to date for purposes of evaluation of nutritional quality and potential health benefits of millet grains. Processing technologies used for improving the edible and nutritional characteristics of millet as well as challenges, limitations, and future perspectives to promote millet utilization as food for a large and growing population are also discussed.

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