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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 14-20

Development of Muffin Using Palmyra (Borassus flabellifer) Sprout Flour

1 M.Tech Student (Food Safety & Quality Management) Department of Food Process Engineering, SRMIST, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Food Process Engineering, School of Bio-Engineering, SRMIST, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
3 Industry Academia Cell, Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology, Pudukkottai Road, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission19-Dec-2019
Date of Decision23-Dec-2019
Date of Acceptance28-Jan-2020
Date of Web Publication25-Feb-2020

Correspondence Address:
Associate Professor G. Nagamaniammai
Department of Food Process Engineering, School of Bio-Engineering, SRMIST, Kattankulathur,Chennai-603 203
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijnpnd.ijnpnd_81_19

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Context: “Miracle tree” palm tree (Borassus flabellifer) is a traditional plant with multiple health benefits. Sprouts are rich in dietary fibers which help in boosting digestive functions. They also contain good amount of enzymes which are generally not available through food. Aims: The aim of present work is to highlight the importance of these underutilized palmyrah sprouts by converting them into flour along with its utilization in new product development. This flour was utilized for development of a popular bakery product − muffins. Settings and Design: For the preparation of muffins, palmyrah flour was combined with refined wheat flour in different ratios (30%, 40%, 50% and 60%). Methods and Material: The physico-chemical properties and proximate composition of the flour were calculated by standard methods. The final product was evaluated based on its physical properties like pH, color, texture, and its proximate composition. Statistical Analysis: The obtained values were statistically calculated as Mean ± SD and student’s t-test analysis been carried out to find the level of significance (P < 0.05). Results: The crude fibre content of the palmyrah sprout flour was significantly higher (5.08%) compared to regular whole wheat flour (0.52%). The water activity value of the palmyrah sprout flour was found to be 0.55, which is less compared to wheat flour and hence appropriate to enhance the shelf life of the product. From the sensory results, the muffin with 50% palmyrah sprout flour was found to be most acceptable. Also, the proximate composition of the new palmyrah muffin was found to be favorable compared with refined wheat muffins. Conclusions: The present study included the incorporation of palmyrah sprout flour in muffins at increasing concentrations in order to select the most desirable muffin. The results of sensory and physical analysis of the final selected muffin i.e. the one containing 50% palmyrah sprout flour demonstrated that this flour enhances the nutritional quality of muffins. Thus, the incorporation of palmyrah sprouts flour can be studied for other such value-added products.

Keywords: Dietary fibre, new product, nutrition, muffin, palmyra

How to cite this article:
Khatri RM, Siddiqui S, Nagamaniammai G, Athmaselvi K. Development of Muffin Using Palmyra (Borassus flabellifer) Sprout Flour. Int J Nutr Pharmacol Neurol Dis 2020;10:14-20

How to cite this URL:
Khatri RM, Siddiqui S, Nagamaniammai G, Athmaselvi K. Development of Muffin Using Palmyra (Borassus flabellifer) Sprout Flour. Int J Nutr Pharmacol Neurol Dis [serial online] 2020 [cited 2022 Dec 3];10:14-20. Available from:

Key Messages:
  1. Development of a new product made from Palmyra sprout flour—a traditional ingredient and a good source of dietary fibres.
  2. Increased utilization of this flour blended with other ingredients for producing fibre-rich foods.

   Introduction Top

Palmyrah (Borassus flabellifer L.) is called miracle tree as all parts of the palm provide innumerable benefits. It comes in the family of Arecaceae and is widely found in the Asian region including north Sri Lanka, east Sri Lanka, south India and in most other tropical countries.[1] It is a robust tree and can live for more than 100 years and reach a height of 30 metres (98 ft), with a canopy of green-bluish leaves with several dozen fronds spreading 3 m (9.8 ft) across.[2] India is one of the major producers of palms: nearly 122 million per year.[3] There is also a large population responsible for the consumption of the young shoot of palmyrah, of which the state of Tamil Nadu bears the production of approximately 10867.00 ha during the season between 2015 and 2016. In India, palmyrah is largely grown in Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Orissa. Palmyrah sprouts are known as “panam kilangu” in Tamil Nadu and mostly consumed in its raw state [Figure 1]. For the longest time, most parts of this plant are being used for various medical treatments such as an antihelminthic and as a diuretic. It has nearly 800 uses including food and beverage, fiber, ayurvedic and medicinal use.[4]
Figure 1 Palmyrah sprouts.

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Neera, toddy, palm sugar, palm jaggery, tender palm fruit or nungu, ripe palm fruit and palm young shoot or young shoot are the various edible products of palmyrah palm.[5] The young shoots are also known as Palmyrah sprout or Palmyrah tuber which are edible and prepared during winter season in the many parts of Southeast Asia. The palmyrah sprout is the seed of the palmyrah palm germinated for 6-8 months and that grows downwards into the earth as palm shoots and has 98% dietary fiber.[3] Starch is the major carbohydrate present in palmyrah shoot flour. Glucose, fructose and sucrose are its major sugars.[6] It has considerable fiber feeding low glycaemic index. [7]

Owing to all of these benefits, the present study was designed to develop a new palmyrah sprout powder incorporated product. The result was a healthy, consumption-friendly muffin compliant with the new trends in food technology. In the past few years, a number of researchers have conducted experiments to improve the nutritional value of muffins like fibre rich muffins, sugar free muffins, antioxidant rich muffins and fat free muffins.[8] The present work was to prepare muffins using palmyrah sprout flour instead of using commercialized corn or wheat flour. The objective of the study was to determine the physico-chemical and functional properties of raw shoot flour and the muffin prepared by this shoot flour. The product’s nutritional composition, shelf life and the overall acceptability by the consumer were also measured.

   Subjects and Methods Top

Plant materials

Young palmyrah shoots (Borassus flabellifer L.) were collected from a grower in Kancheepuram district, Tamil Nadu, India. Long and rigid shoots of uniform shape and size were chosen for preparation of flour.

Flour preparation

The selected young shoots were washed, cleaned, boiled, peeled and the thick centre stick portion was removed. They were cut into small pieces and kept for drying at 50°C ± 5°C for 12 hours in a tray dryer. After drying, they were grounded in a miller and the powder was manually sieved. The obtained flour was stored in airtight bags for further analysis.

Proximate analysis

Proximate analysis of the flour and muffin like moisture content, crude protein, crude fibre, fats and total carbohydrate and starch were determined, according to the[9] method.

Preparation of muffins using the palmyrah sprout flour

For the development of muffin, four different compositions that is 30%, 40%, 50% and 60% of raw palmyrah sprout flour were used. A control sample was made from refined wheat flour taken from the local market. The other ingredients used along with palmyrah flour were wheat flour, banana, sugar, milk, oil, cinnamon powder, flax seeds, baking powder and baking soda. Diablisss sugar was used instead of commercialized white sugar. This is a diabetic friendly herbal cane sugar excellent for controlling blood sugar as it has a low glycaemic index (GI). Flax seeds are added in order to enrich the product with omega-3 fatty acids thus making the muffins a healthier snack choice. The preparation steps for the development of muffins is shown in [Figure 2].
Figure 2 Flow chart for preparation of muffins using the Palmyrah sprout flour.

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Physical analysis of flour and muffins

pH: pH value gives the measure of acidity or alkalinity of the flour and muffin. The pH of the samples was measured in triplicates using pH probe after calibrating with standard buffer solutions.

Bulk density: A weighed amount of sample was filled uniformly into a measuring cylinder. The weight of the sample filled was measured and the volume was determined. From this, bulk density was calculated and expressed as weight of flour per unit volume(g/mL).

Water absorption capacity (WAC): Water absorption capacity is the amount of water absorbed by the flour to achieve a desired level of consistency to produce a quality end-product. 0.5 g sample was mixed with 6 ml of water and allowed to stand for 30 minutes at ambient temperature (30 ± 2°C), it was then centrifuged at 3500 rpm for 15 minutes. Water absorption was examined as a percentage of bound water/ g of sample.

Oil absorption capacity (OAC): Oil absorption capacity is the amount of oil taken up by the flour to achieve desired consistency quality end-product. 0.5 g sample was mixed with 6 ml of oil and allowed to stand for 30 minutes at ambient temperature (30 ± 2°C), it was then centrifuged at 3500 rpm for 15 minutes. Oil absorption was examined as a percentage oil bound/g of sample.

Water activity (aw): Water activity of the flour and muffin were determined using the Dew Point water activity meter. The meter was left standing to calibrate for 2 minutes before analysis of the sample. The sample was filled 3/4th in the sample holder and the cap was placed. The meter was switched on and after the measurement was completed, the value displayed was recorded.

Texture analysis: Hardness, cohesiveness and adhesiveness were determined using TA-XT Texture Analyzer for TPA. Hardness, gumminess, chewiness, cohesiveness and springiness of the muffins were also measured to study the overall texture of the product. A TPA curve was obtained from the observed values.

Color: The color value of muffins was determined by using the Hunter Colorimeter. All the analyses were measured in triplicates. The different color coordinates determined were lightness (L*), redness (a* ± red-green) and yellowness (b* ± yellow-blue).

Sensory analysis of muffins

For evaluating the sensory parameters of the muffins, products of all the different concentrations were assessed by 20 panel members. The members were asked to assess various sensory attributes like appearance, color, texture, taste and odor using the nine-point hedonic scale. From these scores, the overall acceptability of the products was determined and one final product was selected based on this.

Further, physical characteristics, proximate analysis and microbial load analysis were done for the final selected product.

Microbial analysis of muffin

Microbial load of the final selected product was done to determine its stability. The microbial count for bacteria and fungi were analyzed for 6 days at 2 days interval using the standard plate count method.

Statistical analysis

Evaluation of all the parameters were done in triplicates and the results were presented as Mean ± SD. The Microsoft Excel software (2010) was used for statistical analysis. Statistical analysis showed that the values significantly differ at P < 0.05 by Students’ t-test.

   Results Top

Proximate analysis of flour

The nutrient composition of the flour included moisture, crude protein, crude fibre, ether extract, total ash and nitrogen free extract and the values are given in [Table 1]. Ether extract provides the measure of the amount of fats and fatty acids present in the sample. Nitrogen free extract determines the total carbohydrate content including sugars and starches. It is calculated by adding dry matter—crude protein (%), crude fibre (%), ether extract (%) and total ash (%) and subtracting the sum from 100.
Table 1 Nutrient composition of wheat flour (control) and Palmyrah sprout flour (n = 3)

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Physical and functional properties of flour

pH, water activity, bulk density and color are important parameters for determining the quality of flour. Their values (control and Palmyrah flour) are given in [Table 2]. The pH of the flour is observed to be almost near neutral. The bulk density of the flour is expressed as weight by volume (g/ml) and depends on the particle size of the flour. Water absorption capacity and oil absorption capacity values are given in [Table 3].
Table 2  pH, water activity, bulk density and color values of control and Palmyrah sprout flour (n = 3)

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Table 3 Water absorption capacity and oil absorption capacity of Palmyrah sprout flour (n = 3)

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Sensory analysis of muffins

The sensory evaluation was done using a nine-point hedonic scale by 20 panelists for all four concentrations of palmyrah sprout flour in the muffin [shown in [Figure 3]].
Figure 3 Muffins with different percentage of palmyrah sprout flour.

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The results of sensory evaluation can be found in [Table 4] and the corresponding radar chart is shown in [Figure 4].
Table 4 Sensory characteristics of muffins (n=20)

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Figure 4 Radar chart for the mean scores of the overall acceptability of the muffins.

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Proximate nutrient analysis of sample 3–50% palmyrah sprout flour (final selected muffin)

The nutrient composition of a control (normal wheat muffin) and the final product is given in [Table 5].
Table 5 Nutrient composition of the control and final muffin (n = 3)

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Physical properties of sample 3 (final selected muffin)

[Table 6]
Table 6 Physical properties of the control and final muffin (n = 3)

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Microbial load analysis of sample 3 (final selected muffin)

Microbial load analysis was done to study and evaluate the shelf life of the final selected product. Both bacterial and fungal growth studies were done to determine their load using the standard plate count method. The results are shown in [Table 7].
Table 7 Shelf life study of Sample 3 (final selected muffin)

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   Discussion Top

The Palmyrah sprouts are mostly consumed as half-boiled or in raw state. By adopting the conventional tray drying method, the palmyrah sprouts were converted into flour for the preparation of muffins. The development of muffins by incorporation of palmyrah sprout flour along with other ingredients lead to the changes in characteristics of the product which differ from commercialized muffins made from refined wheat flour.

Comparison of proximate composition of wheat flour and palmyrah sprout flour

Significant differences in some of the parameters in proximate composition of commercialized refined wheat flour and palmyrah sprout flour used in this experiment were observed. The crude fibre content of 0.52% recorded for wheat in this study was quite close to the 0.51 % reported by David et al. (2015). [10] Crude fibre percentage in the palmyrah sprout flour was found to be higher than the wheat flour, thus enhancing the nutritional profile of the new product.

Physical properties of the palmyrah sprout flour

pH, bulk density and color values for both flours were almost similar but the water activity value for palmyrah sprout flour was significantly lower than wheat flour. Water activity is directly correlated with the shelf life of the product. Hence the lower the water activity, lower the possibility of growth of micro-organisms. As the fresh sprouts undergo tray drying, which increases the storage characteristics of the palmyrah flour, a good amount of water absorption capacity (WAC) and oil absorption capacity (OAC) were observed in the palmyrah sprout flour. However, the values observed were lower compared to the capacities of normal wheat flour.

Proximate composition of palmyrah sprout flour muffin

The values of moisture content of palmyrah sprout flour and the muffin were found to be 18.08% and 19.14% respectively which indicates longer shelf life conditions if they are appropriately stored (dry and cool place). Comparing the values of nutritional composition of the muffin with the flour values, it was found that crude protein and carbohydrate content were almost similar for both product and the flour. Value of ether extract i.e. fats and fatty acids were 0.79 of the palmyrah flour and 9.18 of the palmyrah muffin which was significantly higher compared to the flour. This variation may be due to the addition of other ingredients in the product like banana, oil and flax seeds. Flax seeds are responsible for providing omega-3 fatty acids. Total ash and total fibre was found to be lower in the final product due to the processing conditions, but were still found to be present in a good amount.

Physico-chemical properties of palmyrah sprout flour muffin

Among the physico-chemical properties that were analyzed, pH, water activity and color values showed similarity between the control and the final product muffin (50%). The stability of any baked product depends on the water activity and moisture content. The water activity of the palmyrah sprout flour muffin was found to be 0.72 which was almost similar to the control muffin water activity value i.e. 0.73. It can be deduced that the appearance of the palmyrah sprout flour muffins is quite comparable with the refined wheat flour muffins.

Texture profile analysis of the muffins

The textural properties are of prime importance for a product to be accepted by the consumers. In the texture profile analysis, it was found that the final muffins were harder, chewier and gummier than the control muffins. Replacing wheat flour with increasing concentration of palmyrah sprout flour lead to decrease in the volume thus increasing the density and also reducing the number of air pockets in the structure. This causes an increase in the force needed for compression. The hardness of the muffins increased with the increasing concentration of the palmyrah sprout flour. No significant difference in the springiness value was observed. This may be due to the constant weight of muffins in all formulations because springiness factor is related to muffin weight.

Sensory analysis of the muffins

As mentioned previously in the results, 9-point hedonic scale was used for sensory evaluation to determine the overall acceptability of the final product. It was found that the maximum scores for color (8.8), texture (8.6), flavor (8.5), taste (8.7) and overall acceptability (8.65) were obtained for Sample 3 i.e. the muffin having 50% of palmyrah sprout flour. Therefore, it was selected as the final product and further analysis was done on it.

Microbial analysis data

In the microbial load analysis, both bacterial and fungal assays were done to evaluate the shelf life of the final product. The results showed that the colonies were too few to count till the 6th day. On storage, the product started showing some changes in its flavour and taste, only after one week. Thus, it can be concluded that the muffins made out of palmyrah sprout flour can be stored up to 6 days without any deterioration.

   Conclusion Top

The present study focused on the optimization of Palymrah sprout flour concentration in muffins so as to obtain a nutrition-rich baked product. A novel and successful substitution of normal refined wheat flour muffins with Palmyrah sprout flour was developed and studied. Owing to the health benefits of the flour, it can be demonstrated that the muffins prepared out of it are more nutritious compared to normal muffins. Future studies evaluating the toxicity levels can be under taken to increase the marketability of the product. The study also demonstrated that Palmyrah sprout flour has much potential to be used in value added products in order to confer high nutritional quality.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

Thabrew MI, Jansz ER. Nutritive importance of palmyrah products. Recent Research Developments in Environ Biol 2004;1:43-60.  Back to cited text no. 1
Nesbitt M. The cultural history of plants. Taylor Francis e-Library 2005; p. 173.  Back to cited text no. 2
Saravanya KS, Kavitha DS. Study on properties of Palmyarh sprout. International Journal of Current Research 2017; 9: 54–301.  Back to cited text no. 3
Arulraj S, Augustine BJ. Underutilized and underexploited horticultural crops. New India Publishing Agency 2008;3:415-29.  Back to cited text no. 4
Sandhya S, Sudhakar K, David B, Rao KN. Pharmacognostical standardization of Borassus flabellifer root. Annals of Biological Research 2010;1:85-94.  Back to cited text no. 5
Jeyaratnam M. Studies on the Chemistry and Biochemistry of palmyrah products. M. Phil. Thesis, University of Jaffna, 1986.  Back to cited text no. 6
Jansz ER, Wickremasekara N, Sumuduni KA. A review of the chemistry and biochemistry of seed shoot flour and fruit pulp of the palmyrah palm (Borassus flabellifer L). Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka 2002;30.  Back to cited text no. 7
Rahman R, Hiregoudar S, Veeranagouda M, Ramachandra CT, Kammar M, Nidoni U, Roopa RS. Physico-chemical, textural and sensory properties of muffins fortified with wheat grass powder. Karnataka J Agric Sci 2015;28:79-82.  Back to cited text no. 8
AOAC (2000) Official Methods of Analysis, 17th Edition, The Association of Official Analytical Chemists, Gaithersburg, MD, USA.  Back to cited text no. 9
David O, Arthur E, Kwadwo SO, Badu E, Sakyi P. Proximate composition and some functional properties of soft wheat flour. International Journal of Innovative Research in Science, Engineering and Technology 2015;4:753-8.  Back to cited text no. 10


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4]

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5], [Table 6], [Table 7]


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