Injera or Biddena commonly made from tef (Eragrostis tef (Zucc) Trotter) grain and a combination with other grains is a staple food of Ethiopian and neighboring countries. Millet and millet-based food products are rich in polyphenols and antioxidant activities. This study aimed to evaluate millet varieties for their injera making quality and polyphenol content and antioxidant activity. Five millet varieties and one tef variety called Quncho were collected, investigated and compared. A significant (p<0.05) variations were noticed in rollability, adhesiveness and overall acceptance of injera. Quncho was perceived differently and rated higher in its overall acceptance (8.04). Among millet injera’s, Kola-1 rated higher whereas Padet was perceived lower in overall consumer acceptance. The result showed that the total phenols, flavonoids and anthocyanin contents of flour and injera ranged from 18.63 to 27.29 µg GAE/g, 11.99 to 15.43 µg catechin equivalent per g of sample, and 5.11 to 53.23 mg/l for flours and 22.99 to 27.25 µg GAE/g, 13.47 to 14.49 µg catechin/g and 5.53 to 24.27 mg/l for injera. Tesema had the highest total phenols (27.29 µg GAE/g), total flavonoid content (15.43 µg catechin/g) and antioxidant activity (41.07%) against the inhibition of 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH). Kola-1 showed the lowest L* (59.76) and a* (-0.11) and the highest b* (4.21) flour color characteristics. Baking caused a non-significant (p>0.05) reduction in total phenols, total flavonoids contents and DPPH free radical scavenging capacity. Hence, it is recommended that Tesema and Kola-1 varieties could be used for functional food development and injera making quality, respectively.
Key words: Millet varieties, tef, injera, baking, polyphenols, antioxidant effects.