Teff (Eragrostis tef) as a raw material for malting, brewing and manufacturing of gluten-free foods and beverages: a review
The demand for gluten-free foods is certainly increasing. Interest in teff has increased noticeably due to its very attractive nutritional profile and gluten-free nature of the grain, making it a suitable substitute for wheat and other cereals in their food applications as well as foods for people with celiac disease. The main objective of this article is to review researches on teff, evaluate its suitability for different food applications, and give direction for further research on its applications for health food market. Teff is a tropical low risk cereal that grows in a wider ecology and can tolerate harsh environmental conditions where most other cereals are less viable. It has an excellent balance of amino acid composition (including all 8 essential amino acids for humans) making it an excellent material for malting and brewing. Because of its small size, teff is made into whole-grain flour (bran and germ included), resulting in a very high fiber content and high nutrient content in general. Teff is useful to improve the haemoglobin level in human body and helps to prevent malaria, incidence of anaemia and diabetes. The nutrient composition of teff grain indicates that it has a good potential to be used in foods and beverages worldwide. The high levels of simple sugars and α-amino acids as a result of breakdown of starch and protein, respectively, are essential for fermentation and beer making.