Influence of fermented faba bean flour on the nutritional, technological and sensory quality of fortified pasta†
Faba bean has gained increasing attention from the food industry and the consumers mainly due to the quality of its protein fraction. Fermentation has been recently recognized as the most efficient tool for improving its nutritional and organoleptic properties. In this study, faba bean flour fermented with Lactobacillus plantarum DPPMAB24W was used to fortify semolina pasta. Pasta samples including different percentages of fermented faba bean flour were produced at the pilot-plant level and characterized using an integrated approach for chemical, nutritional, technological, and sensory features. At a substitution level of 30%, pasta had a more homogeneous texture and lower cooking loss compared to 50% addition. The impact of faba bean flour addition on pasta technological functionality, particularly of the protein fraction, was also assessed by scanning electron microscopy and textural profile analysis. Compared to traditional (semolina) pasta and pasta containing unfermented faba bean flour, the nutritional profile (in vitro protein digestibility and nutritional indexes – chemical score (CS), sequence of limiting essential amino acids, Essential Amino Acid Index (EAAI), Biological Value (BV), Protein Efficiency Ratio (PER), and Nutritional Index (NI)) and the resistant starch content of pasta containing 30% fermented faba bean flour markedly improved, while the starch hydrolysis rate decreased, without negatively affecting technological and sensory features. The use of fermentation technology appears to be a promising tool to enhance the quality of pasta and to promote the use of faba bean flour.