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Pulse-based expanded extrudates fortified with nutritional yeast: quality and functional attributes
J. BERRIOS (1), A. Cheong (2) (1) USDA-ARS-WRRC, Albany, CA, U.S.A.; (2) Lesaffre Yeast Corporation, , U.S.A..

Lentil (<i>lents culinaris</i> L.) and other pulses are rich source of nutritious and healthy food components and considered original functional foods and superfoods that have great potential to enter the food pipeline in a convenient snack form, as ready-to-eat breakfast cereals and snacks-type foods. Nutritional yeast is grown from pure strains of <i>Saccharomyces cerevisiae</i>, on a purified nutrient source, specifically for its nutritional value. This study aimed to develop unique, healthy, tasty crunchy extruded snack-type foods from lentil-based formulations fortified with nutritional yeast. Lentil flours and lentil-based formulations with and without nutritional yeast were extruded using a Clextral EVOLUM HT-32-H twin screw extruder, run at die temperatures of 140-160 oC and constant screw speed of 500rpm, to produce the snacks-type product. The specific mechanical energy (KWh/Kg) of the process significantly decreased (p= 0.05) with an increase in nutritional yeast addition to the formulation undergoing extrusion cooking. However, the expansion ratio and bulk density of the extrudates was not significantly (p= 0.05) different among the lentil-nutritional yeast extrudates. Shelf stability of the developed products was similar to those of dehydrated food products, presenting water activity in the range of 0.44-0.50. Extrusion processing significantly increased (p= 0.05) the in vitro protein digestibility in the final extrudates. Moreover, the incorporation of nutritional yeast into lentil-based formulations produced extruded snack-type products with enhanced textural characteristics and acceptability than the control extrudate. The development of value-added expanded extrudates from formulations based on lentil flours fortified with and nutritional yeast, have a great potential to provide the population with highly nutritional, healthy, acceptable and convenient food.