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Brasil: Improving starch digestibility through modification

Intern: Diana Carolina Sáez Benavides, Food Science Technology

Diana did her internship at the Food and Science Technology Department of the Londrina State University (UE), Paraná Department, Brasil. She worked on modifications of the cassava and “arracha” (mandioquinha salsa) starches, an ingredient in a very popular food in Brasil. During her research, these starches were subject to variables in time and temperature resulting in measureably different levels of absorbency.  Absorbancy levels are calculated using a spectrophotometer to learn the digestibility of the starch when applying it in the preparation of cheese bread, a product that is highly consumed by Brazilians.

Part of Diana´s research was necessary for a project carried out by a Master’s degree student, which will help to improve the quality and nutritional properties of the cheese bread.  This improvement is achieved through the production of a higher percentage of a digestible starch that transforms more slowly into glucose, thereby lessening the probability of contributing to diseases such as obesity and type II diabetes.

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