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Development, characterization and shelf-life testing of a novel pulse-based snack bar

1 Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Mauritius, Mauritius
2 Department of Agricultural Production Systems, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Mauritius, Mauritius
3 Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Mauritius, Mauritius

With the globalization of food trade, we are observing tremendous changes in eating patterns of youngsters. Snack bars represent convenient, appropriately portioned, Ready-To-Eat food items, which not only supply nutrients to the body but also provide a feeling of satiety. The aim of this study was to formulate a novel high-protein, low Glycemic Index and low-fat snack bar that can be eaten on-the-move. Twelve different pulse-based bar formulations were developed and 85.1% of sensory panelists indicated that they particularly liked the taste of formulation M1. Since M1 contained peanuts, a nut-free and date-free equivalent (mM1) was developed to cater for individuals with allergies to these ingredients. A dehydrated mix (DM) based on the mM1 composition, was also developed. The microbiological and sensorial shelf lives of the products were then determined during storage at either ambient (ca. 23 ℃) or refrigerated temperatures (ca. 4 ℃) by determining counts of aerobic bacteria and yeast and mold. Mean aerobic bacteria and yeast and mold counts of M1 fell in the range of 8.4–9.4 and 4.5–5.4 log cfu/g and 7.5–8.6 and 3.8–4.9 log cfu/g during storage at room and refrigerated temperatures respectively. Aerobic bacteria and yeast and mold counts were consistently higher under ambient storage. Since a microbial population density >7 Log CFU/g usually marks the onset of microbiological spoilage, the bars were estimated to have a microbiological shelf-life of <2 days. Overall this study points to the development of a tasty and nutritious pulse-based Ready-To-Eat snack as well as a dehydrated mix that can be readily reconstituted at home or at work.
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