The health food market keeps coming up with many theories and facts about wonder foods that provide all sorts of benefits. In this highly advanced world of instant communication and information, the abundance of statistics and data concerning every food item can leave most of us in a confused state of mind.
There are several factors that can be identified with our food choices. They can range from convenience, easy availability, economic conditions, lifestyle, health issues and many more.
The human civilization has evolved from those early times when man hunted for food, then came the agricultural age when crops were grown for consumption and then the industrial age where mass production of food constituents and items began to be produced. When crop rearing first began, most of the plant foods and cereals raised were indigenous to particular societies and communities and the regions where civilizations flourished. We have read of foods like potatoes, corn, maize, barley, cabbages, some kinds of radishes and tomatoes being cultivated for consumption by various peoples around the world.
Cooking techniques have also evolved from those early days of using hot stones, coals or firewood to the modern iron smelters or ovens that we see today.
Baking as a cooking method has long been used by many cultures around the world for cooking breads, vegetables and meat. The flavors of the food depended largely on the ingredients used in the baking process.
The new entrant
In the already overcrowded and still evolving food market, a rather unique baking ingredient is fast emerging as a popular alternative.
Coffee flour, which is soon to hit consumer markets, is touted as the ‘next impact food’ globally. The product, which is derived from the coffee plant fruit, is said to have many advantages – it’s gluten free, contains five times more fiber and nearly 50% more protein gram for gram in comparison with whole-wheat flour.
Its nutritional punch doesn’t stop with that, according to food experts. It has twice the potassium content in relation to a banana, three times more iron content than spinach and 80% less fat compared to coconut flour. The flavor, though, is unlike regular coffee; rather it gives out a ‘floral citrus’ scent and tastes like roasted fruit.
Apart from the culinary advantages that the product makers claim are very useful for consumers, the larger advantages is that it helps thousands of coffee growers world-wide in more ways than one. Not only does it put to good use the parts of coffee plants which are generally discarded during coffee-bean production, it also provides the answer to the nearly 1.5 billion c.ft. of coffee by-product that goes to waste every year. Obviously, a boon to coffee farmers who deal with the ill-effects of globalization in a shrinking world economy.
Although there is no word out yet on the kind of cost impact, this ‘new health food’ will have on consumers, it is sure to generate a lot of interest when it finally hits the markets.