The banana peel or peel is making its way onto the plates of resourceful consumers, replacing pork in “pulled peel” sandwiches and getting fried in “bacon”.
It has now been revealed that incorporating banana peel flour into sugar cookie dough makes the treats healthier. In taste tests, cookies enriched with banana peel flour were more satisfying than those baked with wheat flour alone, say researchers in ACS Food Science & Technology.
With growing interest in plant-based diets and ways to reduce food waste, food companies and end consumers are looking for creative ways to use every part of their vegetables and fruits.
Chefs and home cooks are experimenting with banana peels, but these peels are extremely fibrous, making them unpalatable to eat raw.
Scientists have recently discovered that they can grind the peels into a flour rich in fiber, magnesium, potassium and antioxidant compounds. When small amounts of wheat flour in breads and cakes were replaced with the new flour, baked goods were more nutritious and had acceptable flavors.
Researchers at the Aligarh Muslim University in India decided to go a step further and conduct similar experiments with cookies, replacing some of the wheat flour in the sugar cookies with wheat skin flour. banana, then evaluating the nutritional quality, storage stability and consumer acceptance of the cookies.
To make banana peel flour, researchers peeled ripe, undamaged bananas, then blanched, dried and ground them into a fine powder. They mixed different amounts of powder with butter, skimmed milk powder, powdered sugar, vegetable oil and wheat flour, creating five batches of sugar cookies and baked them.
They found that increasing the amount of banana peel flour from 0-15% in batches produced browner and tougher products, which may be a result of the increased fiber content of the peels. . Additionally, banana peel flour cookies had lower fat and protein, higher amounts of phenols, and better antioxidant activities than conventional cookies. A trained panel determined that the cookies with the smallest banana peel flour substitution (7.5%) had the best texture and the highest overall acceptability compared to the other batches.
“This batch also kept well for three months at room temperature – it tasted the same as the wheat versions only after the long storage period,” wrote lead author Faizan Ahmad. Since cookies can be fortified with banana peel flour without affecting consumer acceptance, the researchers say this addition could make these baked goods more nutritious.
Banana peels make sugar cookies better for you
ACS Food Science and Technology