Delivery of Antioxidants through Fruits and Vegetables in Extruded Foods
Processed foods are often perceived as having negative attributes, including limited nutritional value, high calorie content, increased glycemic index, and excessive amounts of sugar, salt, chemical preservatives, and/or oil. Extrusion is a technology that is widely used for processing ready-to-eat snack and breakfast cereal products. Use of fruit and vegetable by-products to improve the nutritional profile of extruded foods by delivering both fiber and antioxidants is described. In the samples tested, extrusion led to a decrease in the concentration of antioxidants (phenolic compounds and carotenoids) in expanded products containing apple and tomato pomaces. However, the free-radical scavenging capacity (antioxidant activity) increased due to processing, underscoring the potential health benefits of incorporating these ingredients.