In a recent study, researchers found that adding banana peel flour to the dough for sugar cookies increases the cookies' nutritional value. Cookies that had been enriched with some banana peel flour in taste tests were more satisfying than those that had only been made with wheat flour. The study's results were published in the journal ACS Food Science and Technology. Peels from bananas are no longer always thrown in the garbage or compost. They are replacing meat in sandwiches.
People are becoming more interested in plant-based diets and finding innovative ways to use every part of their fruits and vegetables. Chefs and home cooks have been experimenting with banana peels as one of these waste materials, but because the skins are so fibrous, they are unpleasant to consume raw.
The peels can recently be ground into flour that is high in fibre, magnesium, potassium, and antioxidant compounds. Additionally, the baked goods had more palatable flavours and were more nutritious when small amounts of wheat flour were substituted with the new flour in bread and cakes.
Similar studies with cookies haven't, however, been carried out frequently. Faizan Ahmad and colleagues decided to test out sugar cookies' nutritional value, shelf life, and consumer acceptance by replacing some of the wheat flour with banana peel flour.
The researchers removed the peels from ripe, undamaged bananas, blanched, dried, and ground them into a fine powder to create banana peel flour. They made five batches of sugar cookies by combining various amounts of the powder with butter, skim milk powder, powdered sugar, vegetable oil, and wheat flour. They then baked the cookies.
The browner and harder products that resulted from adding more banana peel flour to the batches--from 0% to 15%--might have been caused by the peels' higher fibre content. Additionally, cookies made with banana peel flour were healthier than traditional ones because they contained more phenols and had better antioxidant properties. They also contained less fat and protein.
A trained panel found that compared to the other batches, the cookies with the smallest substitution of banana peel flour (7.5%) had the best texture and the highest overall acceptability. After three months of storage at room temperature, this batch still tasted the same as the versions made with only wheat. The researchers claim that adding some banana peel flour to cookies could increase their nutritional value without negatively affecting consumer acceptance.