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  1. What are millets?
  2. In what way millet is different from rice and wheat
  3. Can millets be given to Infants and geriatric people?
  4. What are the nutritional benefits of millets?
  5. What are the advantages of malting of millets?
  6. What are the health benefits of consuming millets?
  7. How to cook millets?
  8. Can thyoid patients eat millets?
  9. What products can be made with millets?
  10. How to reduce cooking time for millets?
1. What are millets?

The millets are a group of tiny-seeded species of cereal grains, typically found all over world for food . Millet is one of the ancient foods recognized by humans and perhaps the initial cereal grain to be used for household purposes. Millet is slightly sweet and nutty . Liske other grains, millet can be purchased in markets all over the year. India is the world's foremost producer of millet. At present, millet ranks as the sixth most important grain in the world and sustains 1/3 of the world’s population.

2. In what way millet is different from rice and wheat

They are highly nutritious, non-glutinous and not acid forming foods. Hence they are soothing and easy to digest. They are considered to be the least allergenic. Compared to rice, especially polished rice, millets release lesser percentage of glucose and over a longer period of time. This lowers the risk of diabetes. 
Millets are particularly high in minerals like iron, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium. Finger millet (Ragi) is the richest source of calcium and contains about 10 times that of rice or wheat.


Unlike rice and wheat that require many inputs in terms of soil fertility & water, millets grow well in dry regions as rain-fed crops. Consuming millets will support sustainable cropping practice whereby introducing diversity in our diets. Hence, there is no agro-ecological conflict.
3. Can millets be given to Infants and geriatric people?
Since millets as it is are having low digestibility, Popped/malted millets can be fed to the infants and geriatric persons
4. What are the nutritional benefits of millets?

Millet has nearly 15% protein content. It also contains high amounts of fiber, B-vitamins like Niacin, Thiamin, and Riboflavin, Vitamin E and some essential amino acids like methionine and lecithin. It is especially rich in minerals such as iron, magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium

5.What are the advantages of malting of millets?
  • Enhances amylase activity, resulting in easy digestibility.
  • Finger millet malt has highly agreeable flavour with adequate starch hydrolyzing enzymes. The maximum activity of amylase develops after 4 to 5 days  of germination.
  • Marginal decrease in dietary fibre. 
  • Increases  lysine and tryptophan (from 3.5 to 4.0/100g)
  • Increases protein content (1.3 to 1.5/100 g) .
  • Increases sulfur containing amino acids (methionine and cysteine) in finger  millet
  • Significant improvement in protein efficiency ratio from 0.9 to  1.06 in brown finger millet varieties upon 48 h of  sprouting.
6. What are the health benefits of consuming millets?
  • Millet is highly nutritious, non-glutinous and non-acid forming food which is very soothing and easy to digest.

  • The seeds are also rich in phyto chemicals including Phytic acid, which is believed to lower cholesterol. Phytate is believed to reduce cancer risk.

  • In addition to the matrix of nutrients in their dietary fibers, millets have a wide variety of additional nutrients and phytonutrients that reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, eating whole grains, such as millet, has been linked to protection against atherosclerosis, ischemic stroke, diabetes, insulin resistance, obesity, and premature death.  Eating a serving of whole grains, such as millet, at least 6 times each week is an especially good idea for postmenopausal women with high cholesterol, high blood pressure or other signs of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Compounds in whole grains that have cholesterol-lowering effects include polyunsaturated fatty acids, oligosaccharides, plant sterols and stanols, and saponins.

  • People with celiac disease can replace certain gluten-containing cereals in their diets with millet. Millets are closely related to wheat and are suitable food for those with celiac disease or other forms of allergy/intolerance of wheat.

7.How to cook millets?
  • Millet can be incorporated in many main dishes and its flavor best complements winter squashes and desserts.  Millet has a slightly nutty flavor and depending on how it is cooked, it can be crunchy or soft.  
  • The steps to cook millet are:
  • For cooking basic millet: Rinse and drain millet. In an average pan, add 1 cup millet to 2 1/2 cups water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook for 15 minutes under medium-low flame. Remove from heat and allow to settle uncovered for 20 minutes. Coat it with butter or olive oil and season with salt, pepper etc for taste. This makes about 3 cups of tasty porridge.
  • To get a softer texture like mashed potatoes, you can increase the water quantity to 3 1/2 cups, cover and allow it to simmer for 45 minutes until all the water is absorbed.
  • To get a nutty flavor, dry fry the millet before cooking. Toast it in a pan without water over medium heat, stirring continuously for about 3 minutes until it releases a distinct aroma.
  • Surplus millet can be tossed into salads, stir-fried with vegetables, or slightly heated with milk, honey and cinnamon for breakfast.
8. Can thyoid patients eat millets?

Millets contain an enzyme named thyroid peroxidase in mild quantity. This enzyme is an iodine inhibitor when millet is taken in small quantities. However, when millet is consumed by thyroid patients in large quantities, it is known to cause swelling of thyroid gland. Thus thyroid patients should avoid eating millet.

9. What products can be made with millets?
  • Traditional products
    • Roti
    • Sangati
    • Annam
    • Kudumulu
    • Dosa
    • Ambali
    • Boorelu
    • Pelapindi
    • Karappoosa
    • Thapala chakkalu etc.
  • Commercial products
    • Primary processed products such as dehulled semolina and  flour
    • Porridge powder
    • Noodles
    • Pasta
    • Vermicelli
    • Instant  Health food mixes 
    • Health drink mixes etc.
  • Bakery Products
    • Bread
    • Rusk
    • Biscuits
    • Cakes
    • Soup stick etc.
  • Fermented products
    • Idli
    • Dosa
    • Dhokla
    • Jalebies
    • Alcoholic beverages
    • Kanji etc.
10. How to reduce cooking time for millets?
  • Time for cooking millet can be reduced by
    1. Soaking  over night
    2. Dehulling ( Recommended partial  dehulling)

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