Greater attention paid to people with celiac disease and to a lifestyle with a low environmental impact are improving the use of food without gluten content. Here we will focus on plantain flour to replace wheat for the production of pasta. Have you ever eaten bananas? In fact, there are numerous types of bananas: dessert bananas (M. cavendish), plantain (M. paradisiaca) and cooking bananas. The latter and the plane tree are very similar to each other as they derive from two varieties, M. acuminata and M. bulbisiana.
Plantain flour is similar to soft wheat flour but it has no gluten
Dessert bananas are used only ripe, while cooking bananas and plantains are eaten both ripe and unripe, boiled, fried, or, only for plantains, also in the form of flour. In the developing countries of Central and Eastern Africa, plane trees are the main source of carbohydrates for about 70 million people.
The nutritional composition of the plane tree changes according to the cultivar, variety, soil and degree of ripeness of the fruit. The plane tree, raw, that is, not subjected to drying and milling process, contains about 61% of water if green, which increases up to 65-68% with maturation. This is due to the breakdown of carbohydrates during this phase. In both green and ripe plantains, carbohydrates represent about 30-35%, of which the predominant fraction is starch, in which the amylose and amylopectin ratio is 1:5. The starch in the unripe plantain is quantitatively double that of the ripe fruit as the ripening phase itself causes hydrolysis to simpler sugars such as sucrose, fructose and glucose. For this reason, the green product is used in order to produce flour.