Development and Evaluation of Fortified Finger Millet Pasta

Finger Millet is one of the major Millets considering its naked nature (no outer hull) and also its wide production and utilization all over the country as well as globally. Finger Millet was majorly used for making flour and adding in Finger Millet balls (Finger Millet Muddhe in Karnataka, Finger Millet Sankati in Andhra Pradesh) Finger Millet roti, Finger Millet beverages like Finger Millet soup and malt, which are considered a healthy diet with lots of energy which is rich in protein and Calcium.  Even though there were many popular recipes developed with Ragi, traditional dishes have a very big impact on their current usage. Finger Millet has a very good nutrition profile compared with other cereal grains in the aspect of micronutrients.

Recently, there has been a huge market growth for Finger Millet products like biscuits, cookies, soups, and malts. With the increased response and acceptance of Ragi around the globe, we have come across development of Protein rich Finger Millet balls, Finger Millet Nutribars, Cold extruded products like pasta, vermicelli, and hot extruded products like extruded Finger Millet snacks, etc.

Cold Extrusion

Cold extrusion is one of the best technologies to develop a wide range of products without losing nutrition and also helps in fortification. Millet extrusion is a bit hard partly due to its dynamic gluten-free characteristics. Cold extrusion needs a strong binding and the absence of gluten in Millets make this combination a little complicated. With the in-depth research and analytics of several starches and Finger Millet combinations, we landed with few options to still perform cold extrusion with Finger Millet. Products that are being developed with Finger Millet in cold extrusion were Finger Millet pasta, Finger Millet vermicelli, and Finger Millet analogue rice.

Finger Millet Pasta

Pasta is one such food and is widely used in Western and European cuisines. In terms of developing and exporting product ranges, pasta was the best idea to incorporate Millet (Ragi) into many individuals’ diets.

With multiple trial and error procedures and combinations of Finger Millet and different starch varieties, we have finalized the Finger Millet and arrowroot powder combination to develop pasta. Being very low in calories, arrowroot powder has shown very good binding properties, comparatively with corn and rice starch. Due to the pressure created between the barrel and screw, Fortificants which are added will be uniformly distributed and blended to the levels where bioavailability will also be improved.

Raw materials

  1. Finger Millet grits
  2. Finger Millet flour
  3. Arrowroot powder
  4. GMS
  5. INS 415
  6. Calcium and Zinc Fortificants
  7. Salt

Formulations of Finger Millet pasta:

Finger Millet pasta is formulated based on the trial and error of the different combinations of Millet and starch by analysing its texture and sensory profile.

Formulation of Finger Millet pasta

Based on the sensory and texture profile of different trails T2 was finalized and selected for further processing and development procedure.

Pre-processing of Raw materials

  1. Ragi: By using a hammer mill, Finger Millet was pulverized into flour and sieved. By using a 150-mesh sieve, the fine flour was collected and through a 260-mesh sieve, size grits were collected.
  2. GMS: Glycerol monostearate is made into a paste by using a planetary mixer and kept overnight for activating.
  3. INS 415: Prepared gum in a planetary mixer and kept for 4 hours to activate.

Nutritional profiling of Finger Millet pasta:

Finger millet pasta was analyzed for parameters like Moisture content, protein, fat, carbohydrates, dietary fibre, energy, and micronutrients like calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc through the AOAC method.

The protein and fibre content of Finger Millet pasta is 6.9g and 7.1g per 100g followed by fat and mineral content of 3.1g and 2.1g, carbohydrates content was 68g. Finger Millet has shown an increased calcium and zinc content of 420mg and 294mg whereas Finger Millet has 312mg of Calcium and 127mg of zinc naturally.

Sensory Analysis of Finger Millet Pasta:

FSensory analysis is carried out with 11 membered semi-trained panellists through a 9 Hedonic scale, whereas 9 - Like Extremely, 8 - Like very much, 7 – Like moderately, 6 – like slightly, 5 – neither like like nor dislike, 4 - dislike slightly, 3 – dislike moderately, 2 – dislike very much, 1 – dislike extremely.

Finger Millet pasta has got a sensory score of overall acceptancy of 8.5 which means the best out of all other trials.


Pasta is one of the products which falls into every cuisine which will be modified or prepared in different forms based on geography. Finger Millet pasta has got a similar acceptance with wheat pasta, in which Finger Millet pasta is even more healthy and high in nutrition in aspects of protein, fat and fibre contents. by the fortification with calcium and zinc, Finger Millet pasta is even more nutritious in aspects of Micronutrients. based on the cold extrusion technology and quality analytics of Finger Millet pasta, it was noticed that the bioavailability of fortified calcium and zinc will be increased. Through the extended trial and error procedure, the maximum limit of the millet can be incorporated into any product.

(Content shared by Dr. B Dayakar Rao, Principal Scientist & CEO Nutrihub, ICAR-Indian Institute of Millets Research and Israel Raj Alladi, Research Associate, ICAR – Indian Institute of Millets Research)