Healthy Roselle Muffins Containing Hibiscus Extract

Author: Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Published: 2023/03/07 - Peer-Reviewed: Yes
Contents: Summary - Definition - Introduction - Main - Related

Synopsis: The new super muffin has been named Roselle because it contains calyx extract from the tropical plant Hibiscus sabdariffa, which is often referred to by the same name. Hibiscus flowers have a beautiful red color, and the calyx extract contains many valuable bioactive compounds, such as polyphenols, flavonoids, betaine, and hibiscus acid. These components can be used to develop new products and functional food that offer positive health effects, possibly reducing the risk of chronic diseases.

Introduction

Nutritionally Enriched Muffins from Roselle Calyx Extract Using Response Surface Methodology - Foods.

Healthy and muffins are not usually two words we associate with each other, but a plant extract might help change that, at least a little bit.

Main Digest

Love muffins? We're talking about a tasty, fluffy muffin with no artificial additives and containing many beneficial nutrients. As remarkable as it might sound, a recently published study led describes the development of just such a new muffin in the journal Foods.

From Muffins to Functional Food

The new super muffin has been named Roselle because it contains calyx extract from the tropical plant Hibiscus sabdariffa, often referred to by the same name.

Here's a look at the different formulations researchers tested.

Hibiscus flowers have a beautiful red color, and the calyx extract contains many valuable bioactive compounds, such as polyphenols, flavonoids, betaine, and hibiscus acid. These components can be used to develop new products and functional food that may offer positive health effects, possibly reducing the risk of chronic diseases.

The study also shows that Roselle muffins maintain their freshness for up to six days at room temperature, but with so many beneficial qualities, chances are they will be long gone by then.

Health Benefits

The study is part of Re-FOOD, a Norwegian-Indian collaborative project focusing on using and enhancing the value of the rest raw materials of food processing.

Professor Nutan Kaushik at Amity University in Uttar Pradesh, India, points out the health benefits of antioxidants, especially when neutralizing free radicals, which can be an important contributing factor to serious illnesses.

Prefer Natural Food Coloring

Roselle is also rich in anthocyanins. This dye can dissolve in water and yield red, pink, purple, blue, blue, violet, or violet. The color of food has a strong influence on how delicious we think it is.

Artificial dyes are often clearer and more intense than natural substances. But the demand for natural dyes is increasing because of the concern that artificial dyes harm our health.

Tasty, Nutritional and Long Shelf-Life

In the muffin study, 30 tested 17 recipe variants.

The aim was to find the best version of Roselle muffins relative to three important qualities:

Aim the Best Possible Response

The researchers measured and surveyed the test subjects' response to the pastry's color, appearance, aroma, texture, fluffiness, elasticity, freshness, and chewing resistance. The researchers used the Response Surface Methodology to model and analyze how the test subjects' reactions were affected by various factors. The method aims to achieve the most positive response to what is tested.

Continued below image.
Figure 1. Images of 17 Roselle muffins obtained with different formulation combinations. Researchers tested different formulations of muffins containing a plant extract to see which variety appealed most. Screenshot from: Nutritionally Enriched Muffins from Roselle Calyx Extract Using Response Surface Methodology. Foods. 2022; 11(24):3982.
Figure 1. Images of 17 Roselle muffins obtained with different formulation combinations. Researchers tested different formulations of muffins containing a plant extract to see which variety appealed most. Screenshot from: Nutritionally Enriched Muffins from Roselle Calyx Extract Using Response Surface Methodology. Foods. 2022; 11(24):3982.
Continued...

Natural Food Coloring Good for Our Cells

In terms of nutrition, the results suggest that the hibiscus extract provides muffins with high levels of antioxidants like phenolics.

These are substances believed to be able to prevent processes in the body that can damage cell membranes or the genetic material in our cells. There are several thousand different phenols, most of which are found in fruit, juice, wine, cocoa, tea, coffee, vegetables, flax seed, whole grains, and legumes.

Maybe Not So Healthy

The Roselle calyx extract provides health benefits, but the muffin research is primarily good news for those who already eat muffins. Because there are some bitter tastes - figuratively speaking - in this muffin batter, in the form of unhealthy sugar, saturated fat, and white flour.

Eva Falch is an associate professor at NTNU's Department of Biotechnology and Food Science and a study co-author. She doubts that Roselle would be able to be classified as healthy in Norway.

Underused Resource

"Roselle calyx extract is an underutilized resource, and the study primarily shows the potential of the plant extract. The researchers use the muffin as a model to say something about how ingredients and steps in the manufacturing process affect and change the properties of the final product," Falch says.

New Possibilities

Classifications and health recommendations, as well as taste and food culture, vary between countries.

"In food cultures where baked goods like this are part of the daily diet, Roselle muffins can contribute to increased nutritional value. To make a healthy version, the whole composition should be as good as possible, with little sugar, salt, saturated fat, and so on," said Falch, who is also head of the NTNU Food Forum.

Animal Models and a Start-up

A next step could be to test this ingredient in products with a better nutritional profile, such as whole grain products so that it can be part of a healthy diet.

Professor Nutan Kaushik says the findings have helped get acceptance among consumers and regulators.

"Next, we plan to study the health benefits of animal models and launch a start-up company," she says.

Moist Muffins Mold Easily

Shelf life was the third factor the researchers investigated.

When dry and semi-dry baked goods such as biscuits are left too long, they can deteriorate physically and chemically. Muffins with higher moisture content, on the other hand, are more vulnerable to bacteria, fermentation, and mold. Mold and mold spores are destroyed by heat during baking, but as soon as the muffins are out of the oven, they are exposed to airborne mold spores.

Roselle Keeps Fresh Without Preservatives

Roselle muffins have no added preservatives.

The beauty is that the antioxidant ascorbic acid is also found in the pastry. This chemical bond can contribute to increased shelf life in food products. And when it comes to the effects of ascorbic acid on the human body, most of us know it by its common name, vitamin C. The tests showed that Roselle kept well for six days at room temperature, with no signs of mold or spores.

Reference

Marak, S.; Kaushik, N.; Dikiy, A.; Shumilina, E.; Falch, E. Nutritionally Enriched Muffins from Roselle Calyx Extract Using Response Surface Methodology Foods 2022, 11, 3982.

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This peer reviewed publication titled Healthy Roselle Muffins Containing Hibiscus Extract was selected for publishing by Disabled World's editors due to its relevance to the disability community. While the content may have been edited for style, clarity, or brevity, it was originally authored by Norwegian University of Science and Technology and published 2023/03/07. For further details or clarifications, you can contact Norwegian University of Science and Technology directly at ntnu.edu Disabled World does not provide any warranties or endorsements related to this article.

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