COVID-19 NPD: India’s research institute develops high protein and fibre foods for patients

By Tingmin Koe contact

- Last updated on GMT

The high protein cookies produced by IIFPT.
The high protein cookies produced by IIFPT.

Related tags: India, COVID-19, Protein, Fibre

An Indian research institute has developed a range of high protein and fibre foods, including cookies, bread, and rusks specially for COVID-19 patients.

The Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT), a research and educational institution under the country’s Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI), says it has developed the foods to improve the immune health of the patients.

Using ground nut and/or whey protein as the protein sources, each of these foods also contains spices and herbs such as turmeric.

With a protein content of as high as 14.16% in the cookies, director of IIFPT, Dr C. Anandharamakrishnan, told NutraIngredients-Asia, ​that this was about three times higher than the 4% to 5% present than standard.

As for the bread loaves, the protein content is slightly lower than the cookies but still higher than the 7% to 8% found in conventional white bread.

The bread, cookies, and rusk also boast a high fibre content of 8.1%, 8.71%, and 10.61% respectively.

However, the foods which contain no synthetic additives, are not available for sale in retail or online channels at present.  

They are prepared and packed daily at IIFPT’s HACCP and ISO-certified Food Processing Business Incubation Centre, are supplied to COVID-19 patients who are under medical examination and those who have recovered after receiving treatment at the Thanjavur Medical College.

The institute is also going to develop new nutritional foods containing banana powder for free distribution to frontline workers, including police, doctors, and sanitary workers.

Herbs

Besides the high protein and fibre content, the foods are enriched with immunity boosters and spice.

All three products contain ayurvedic herbs such as turmeric, jeera (made from the cumin plant), and moringa leaves – which Dr Anandharamakrishnan said was a good source of protein, fibre, and iron.

Spices such as garlic, onion, clove, ginger, chilli, were also added, which he said were beneficial for immune health.

“All the spices used are immune boosters having different bioactive components which can contribute in different ways,” ​he said.

COVID-19 has sparked a number of new health foods product innovation.

In Singapore, dietary supplement firm Avida Health said it was launching a chocolate ball functional food​ targeted at improving kids’ immunity. Key ingredients include probiotics, blackcurrant, and beta-glucan from yeast and fungi sources.

Australia’s Jatenergy said it was partnering with University of Sydney in developing a lactoferrin-based antiviral food supplement.

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