Bioprocessed Grains May be Soon Used as Medicine

PTI  |  Updated: July 18, 2017 17:19 IST

Bioprocessed Grains May be Soon Used as Medicine
The rice and wheat you eat may soon also be used as a medicine if scientists are successful
in changing the carbohydrate profile of food grains. By partial bioprocessing of rice, wheat and coarse grains like jowar, bajra and ragi, a team of five researchers at IIT Kharagpur are working on developing nutraceuticals.

Nutraceuticals are products derived from food sources enhanced with extra medical benefits. The word is a portmanteau of the words “nutrition” and “pharmaceutical'. Once ready in the next three years, the bioprocessed grains would then be consumed just like corn flakes or in the form of ready-to-eat products like biscuits, chocolates and even health drinks.

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"Changing the dietary carbohydrate profile by bioprocess in grains will lead to the development of new range of low-cost prebiotic nutraceuticals. It will enable better nutrition by releasing more energy, promoting growth of beneficial gut microbe and inhibiting harmful gut bacteria and
boosting immunity," lead researcher of the project Dr Satyahari Dey told PTI.

The food grains would also be fortified with beneficial microbe and micronutrients before it reaches the consumer. Prebiotic and probiotic nutraceuticals are preventive for lifestyle diseases like hyperglycemia, inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer.
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"They can even cure certain diseases if they are in their initial stages," says the biotechnologist, who is also the deputy secretary general of Asian Federation of Biotechnology. Malnutrition in women and children is related to dietary carbohydrate assimilation - a problem which can be solved with the new generation food.


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