MILLETS: NUTRITIONAL COMPOSITION, SOME HEALTH BENEFITS AND PROCESSING - A REVIEW
Millets are a major food source in arid and semi-arid parts of the world. Millets are good sources of energy. They provide protein, fatty acids, minerals, vitamins, dietary fibre and polyphenols. Typical millet protein contains high quantity of essential amino acids especially the sulphur containing amino acids (methionine and cysteine). Processing millet by milling removes the bran and germ layers that are rich in fibre and phytochemicals, causing significant loss. The millets are source of antioxidants, such as phenolic acids and glycated flavonoids. Millet foods are characterized to be potential prebiotic and can enhance the viability or functionality of probiotics with significant health benefits. The nutritional significance of millets demands for an examination of the nutritional characteristics and functional properties of different millet cultivars as well as developing value added products from millets.