, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 207-216
Date: 22 Nov 2011

Optimization of Process Parameters for Decortication of Finger Millet Through Response Surface Methodology

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Decorticated finger millet is prepared by hardening the endosperm by hydrothermal processing and polishing the processed grains. The yield of the decorticated grains is of paramount importance in the millet industry. Milling yield depends on the grain moisture content and incipient moisture conditioning during milling. It was found that steaming conditions such as steaming time and steam pressure significantly influenced the milling yield. Hence, studies were undertaken to determine the influence of moisture and steaming conditions on the yield of decorticated millet. Steaming conditions were optimized through response surface methodology. The responses studied were hardness, milling yield, porosity and water uptake of hydrothermally processed millet. The studies indicated that hydrothermally processed millet with 16±1% moisture content, tempered with 5% added water at I stage and 4% water in the II stage milling, resulted in a yield of 64.6%. The relationship of milling yield, hardness and porosity of the millet was quadratic with the severity of steaming conditions, while water uptake of the steamed millet exhibited a linear relationship. Based on the regression analysis, optimum conditions estimated for steaming time and pressure were 17.5 min and 313.8 kPa, respectively. At this condition, the milling yield, water uptake, porosity and hardness values were also predicted and the values were 68.33 g/100 g, 63.43 g/100 g, 52.23% and 204.01 N, respectively. The studies indicate that steaming the millet at elevated pressure and temperature increases the milling yield and steaming beyond the threshold level has a detrimental effect on the yield of head grains.