In house cultivated Spirulina
powder was incorporated at 2 to 15% concentrations to enrich pasta prepared from semolina. Spirulina
incorporation led to development of green color pasta with nutritional and functional fortification resulting in increase in its protein, total phenols, flavonoids, iron and calcium content by up to 77.47%, 76.62%, 162.88%, 296.99% and 57.27%, respectively, without causing detrimental changes to the textural and sensory attributes. FAME analysis revealed 2 to 2.5 times enhanced levels of γ-linolenic acid and docosahexaenoic acid in enriched pasta. Significant improvement in phenolics, flavonoids and antioxidant activity were also observed in comparison to control pasta. Analysis of theoretical and realized composition confirmed retention of nutrients post cooking revealing no significant loss in proteins and other nutrients. Principal components analysis demonstrated significant contribution of Spirulina
to nutritional and functional attributes especially at higher concentrations. Pasta enriched with 12.5% Spirulina
was rated as “liked very much” and the purchase intention was also high. Spirulina
enrichment at concentrations above 10% (12.5%) with appreciable increase in nutritional and functional attributes without affecting textural or cooking quality and acceptable sensory evaluation can be a preferred alternative to augment health and prevent sickness. Since green color symbolizes freshness, hope, renewal and physical health, the consumption of Spirulina
incorporated green pasta may be a potential option to enhance the livelihood and nutritional security of rural poor and a good alternative for hidden hunger alleviation programs for mass nutrition especially for infants and children in an effective manner.
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