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Effects of Processing Methods on Amaranth Starch Digestibility and Predicted Glycemic Index



ABSTRACT:  Amaranth has attracted a great deal of interest in recent decades due to its valuable nutritional, functional, and agricultural characteristics. Amaranth seeds can be cooked, popped, roasted, flaked, or extruded for consumption. This study compared the in vitro starch digestibility of processed amaranth seeds to that of white bread. Raw seeds yielded rapidly digestible starch content (RDS) of 30.7% db and predicted glycemic index (pGI) of 87.2, the lowest among the studied products. Cooked, extruded, and popped amaranth seeds had starch digestibility similar to that of white bread (92.4, 91.2, and 101.3, respectively), while flaked and roasted seeds generated a slightly increased glycemic response (106.0 and 105.8, respectively). Cooking and extrusion did not alter the RDS contents of the seeds. No significant differences were observed among popped, flaked, and roasted RDS contents (38.0%, 46.3%, and 42.9%, respectively), which were all lower than RDS content of bread (51.1%). Amaranth seed is a high glycemic food most likely because of its small starch granule size, low resistant starch content (< 1%), and tendency to completely lose its crystalline and granular starch structure during those heat treatments.