Start-up gets green light to promote Indian millets to French bakers

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Pearl millet, ground into flour, adds protein and other nutrients to baked goods. Pic: ©GettyImages/mirzamlk
Pearl millet, ground into flour, adds protein and other nutrients to baked goods. Pic: ©GettyImages/mirzamlk

Related tags millets Croitre Millet LEMPA Gluten-free

Bengaluru-based Croitre Millet is setting up an office in France following the approval of its millet premixes by the Laboratoire D’essais Des Materiels Et Produits Alimentaires (LEMPA).

The French national laboratory for bakery and pastry products issued the green light for three of Croitre’s millet premixes after rigorous testing for protein content and acidic levels.

LEMPA is now promoting the premixes to bakers across France, where demand for gluten-free products is on the rise.

“We expect to start shipping the cereals from India from October onwards,” ​said Swetha Ashwath Narayana, co-founder, Croitre, which sources the grains from farmer-producer groups in India.

“The idea is to get the grains to France and mill them locally.”

Nutritionally superior

India is the world’s largest producer of millets, but exports remain limited. However, they have been rising and Croitre hopes to take that demand higher.

Millets are a group of small-seeded grasses, widely grown around the world. Millets are gluten-free and highly nutritious – rich in B vitamins, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and zinc. They are only low GI (Glycemic Index) and purported to help lower type 2 diabetes and the risk of heart disease.

They need very little water for production and have short growing period under dry, high temperature conditions, hence their popularity in places like India and Africa.

French boulangeries primarily use wheat in their breads, with other types of flour such as corn and rye. Croitre is banking on the nutritive benefits of millets, which are superior in terms of proteins, minerals, flavonoids, polyphenols and vitamins.​ Ground into flour, millets can easily be incorporated into cakes, biscuits, cookies, bread and pastries to convert them into functional foods for the prevention of noncommunicable diseases, like diabetes and heart disease.

Millets can also be utilized ingluten free bread formulations.

Studies have found that, when added in the correct ratio of millet flour to wheat flour, sensory evaluation rated it ‘extremely liked’ in multigrain breads.


Millets as Functional Food, a Gift From Asia to Western World

Authors: Ram B. Sing, Shairy Khan, Anil K. Chauhan, et al

The Role of Functional Food Security in Global Health 2019

Study on development and quality evaluation of high rich nutrient multigrain bread

Authors: Chandra Prakash, Ashish Uniyal and Deeksha Semwal

International Journal of Chemical Studies 2018; 6(4): 3342-3346

Optimization of Gluten-Free Bread Formulation Using Sorghum, Rice, and Millet Flour by D-Optimal Mixture Design Approach

H. R. Azarbad, M. Mazaheri Tehrani and H. Rashidi

J. Agr. Sci. Tech. (2019) Vol. 21: 101-115

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