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Malnutrition is a worldwide escalating severe problem, impacting majority of the Indian population. Currently, it is difficult to meet, the nutritional requirements with a limited type of stored food as compared to the variety of freshly available food. In such a scenario incorporating, the immune-boosting nutritional ingredients in a commonly consumed food can be adopted as one of the nutritional approaches. Hence, as an alternate to fresh food, the usage of a fortified high-nutrient food products can be one of the approaches e.g., the inclusion of fortified pasta in meals. Moringa oleifera is a fast-growing underutilized tree with high nutritional value. Its leaves are rich sources of bioactive components, vitamin A, vitamin C and Iron. Fortification of pasta products with Moringa oleifera leaf powder can be one of the cost-effective approaches and, a best immunity booster supplement for enhancing the nutritional value of pasta-based products which can be stored for several months. In current study, the preparation of pasta fortified with varying concentrations of Moringa oleifera leaf powder (MLP) was attempted, followed by its cooking quality analysis (cooking time, cooking weight, cooking loss and water absorption) and sensory attributes evaluation (based on 9 points hedonic scale including the colour, taste, texture, flavour and overall acceptability). The results from the qualitative as well as quantitative analysis suggest that the fortification of pasta with Moringa oleifera leaves differentially modified the sensory characteristics of the pasta in a concentration-dependent manner. The present study indicates that the fortification of pasta with Moringa oleifera leaf powder can act as a natural immune booster, and has the potential to reduce the probability of microbial infections.
Keywords: Bioactive Components, Fortification, Moringa oleifera, Pasta.
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