Call to make millets key part of daily diet

Call to make millets key part of daily diet
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Highlights

In the last few years, the awareness of millets, their nutrition benefits and how they can help consumers combat lifestyle diseases has increased.

Punjagutta: In the last few years, the awareness of millets, their nutrition benefits and how they can help consumers combat lifestyle diseases has increased. However, many of those who are aware of millets and their benefits have never tried cooking these grains because they think millets are very cumbersome to cook and they don't taste good, reveals a a market study conducted in Hyderabad and Bangalore.

The study revealed that 42% of the respondents who tried millets stopped cooking them, as they could not make recipes that suit their family's eating habits and tastes.

Increasing income levels, hectic work schedules, diminishing culinary skills and modern lifestyles are making people prefer foods that are easy to prepare and consume. The homemaker is preferring to use read to cook (RTC) products to cut down her cooking time and help her make more variety of dishes. In urban India, a considerable percentage are are double income households who are pressed for time and are looking for easy food options leading to higher demand of RTC and RTE (ready to eat) segments.

Therefore, to introduce these ancient grains back into the mainstream, millets need to be made available in fun, tasty and easy to cook products that are convenient to use for the modern consumer to replace their daily diet needs with millet-based healthy alternatives. To discuss the challenges of modern lifestyle and the need for innovative food formats to revive millets consumption, a symposium with the theme of 'Innovations in Ancient grains – Millets, to suit Modern lifestyle' was conducted here on Sunday.

The guest speakers at the event were Dr Dayakar Rao, Principal Secretary, IIMR and CEO of Nuti Hub, MCV Prasad, founder of Prakrutivanam, Dr Uma Devi, Professor, College of Home Science, PJTSAU), Dr J Lakshmi, Professor, Food & Nutrition, ANGRAU, Ram Babu, an eminent millets chef, and Sai Krishna Popuri, CEO and founder of Health Sutra).

With speakers from varied professional backgrounds, the event saw valuable discussions on the way ahead for Millets in the modern world. "Continued efforts are being put to innovate technologies to make millet-based products in emerging food formats," said Dr Dayakar Rao. "Challenges of the modern lifestyle can be effectively combated using millets," said Dr Uma Devi. MCV Prasad pointed out that, "Millets helped our ancestors stay physically and mentally fit and can help present generation fight lifestyle diseases like Thyroid and Diabetes".

Sai Krishna Popuri said that keeping the needs of modern consumer in mind, they have crafted a range of 100% millet products that are natural, healthy, tasty and easy to use. Health Sutra's millets product range includes flakes and wheat-free 100% millet biscuits, idly & upma rawas, health mix, instant ragi buttermilk mix and diet namkeens. Using these products, the modern consumer can easily reintroduce Millets into their diet without changing their eating habits, he added.

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