Teff, a Specialty Grain

Teff, a Specialty Grain

 For generations teff has been a staple ingredient that Ethiopians use in their meals. It was first domesticated for food production purposes more than 3,000 years ago. Fast forward to today, and the growing interest in teff beyond the borders of the East African nation is part of an increasing consumer desire for ancient grains.

Innovating with ancient grains

Consumers continue showing a great deal of interest in specialty grains, in particular the Teff grain falls under this umbrella. Ancient grains add texture, nutrition and marketing appeal to drinks, especially thicker beverages such as smoothies.

Sprouted whole grains that are finely milled deliver additional benefits of superior flavor as starches are converted to sugars, which provide a natural sweetness with no added sugars. The key is to create a blend of ancient grain flours to balance the flavor and create consistent mouthfeel.  Analyst predict a considerable growth potential for ancient grains in grain bowls, salad kits and prepared meals in general.

Difference Between Whole Grain and Whole Wheat

With so many products on the market and deceptive marketing, you may wonder whether you should buy whole grain or whole wheat products. The main difference between whole grain and whole wheat is the type of grain being used.

Both whole grain and whole wheat products contain all three components of a grain kernel, also known as a caryopsis. These include:

  • This is the fibrous outer layer of the kernel that’s rich in B vitamins and other minerals.
  • This reproductive part of the kernel is rich in a variety of nutrients, such as healthy fats, vitamin E, B vitamins, and antioxidants.
  • The largest component of the grain kernel consists of starchy carbs. In most cases, white flours are mostly composed of the endosperm.

Both whole grain and whole wheat contain all three parts of the grain kernel — the bran, endosperm, and germ. However, whole wheat exclusively refers to wheat kernels, while whole grain includes other grains, such as barley, corn, and rye.

Revealing healthier food options

Professional bakers are unveiling a new sourdough assortment with a focus on nutritional values. The loaves have taken on a new form, using ancient methods and science to adapt, , with prolonged fermentation times. One of the most interesting is the Gluten-free Sourdough – its gluten-free variant is made with wild yeast, brown teff, brown rice and chickpea flour.

If there were a prize for the healthiest breakfast, humble porridge would win. However New porridges claiming greater health benefits and containing different grains or ‘souped-up’ oats are appearing on supermarket shelves. This is made with Teff, which has a natural nutty flavour, is high in resistant starch, which helps to feed good gut bacteria that influence everything from bowel regularity to immunity and mood.

Even the good, old fashioned brownie falls squarely in this category, it continues to evolve and endure. Flour is the most important ingredient when making this delicious snack. Using whole grain teff flour, these brownies are moist and chewy with a subtly herbaceous taste.

Gluten-free and Vegetarian-friendly grains

Teff is a healthy option thanks to its naturally low fat and salt content – instead, it’s a great source of protein and fibre, both of which are key.

The gluten-free diet is a hot topic among runners, with many experimenting with the diet at one point in their careers. As more people get diagnosed with celiac disease, more gluten-free products become available. However, instead of removing Gluten from your diet, check out whole grains such as teff,….. – There are lots of grains that are gluten-free.

Even though it may seem like skipping meat products would leave vegetarians lacking for protein, there really are quite a number of alternative protein sources out there. Ancient grains are higher in protein than common grains, therefore make a perfect replacement for meats much needed proteins.

Plant-based protein investments

Big Idea Ventures is a hybrid venture firm: launched the New Protein Fund, which at the time was the first and largest fund for plant-based protein investments. Chosen participants receive a $125,000 investment and, over the course of five months, work with mentors, advisors, and potential investors. Among last year’s pick of companies was Wild For, which launched healthy snacks made from ancient grain teff.

Tradelink International has close monitoring of every stage of our production process from cultivation to processing and even up to final delivery. Packaging is usually specified by the customer, although our most common method is 1000kg tote bags. Please email us at sales@tradelinksa.com if you would like more information!


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