Finger millet is amongst the major crops of Uttaranchal. Over the years there has been rapid decline both in production and consumption of millets. Chemical composition of finger millet revealed that total carbohydrate content of finger millet has been reported to be in the range of 72 to 79.5%. Finger millet has nearly 7% protein but large variations in protein content from 5.6 to 12.70% have been reported by various studies. Total ash content is higher in finger millet than in commonly consumed cereal grains. The ash content has been found to be nearly 1.7 to 4.13% in finger millet. Calcium content of 36 genotypes of finger millet ranged from 162 to 487 mg %. Singh and Srivastava (2006) reported the iron content of 16 finger millet varieties ranged from 3.61 mg/100g to 5.42 mg%. Finger millet is the richest source of calcium and iron. Calcium deficiency leading to bone and teeth disorder, iron deficiency leading to anemia can be overcome by introducing finger millet in our daily diet. Maximum utilization of the nutrient potential of the millet is limited by the presence of phytates, phenols, tannins and enzyme inhibitors but their effect can be reduced by using processing techniques like popping, roasting, malting and fermentation. The use of these techniques not only decreases the content of antinutrients but increases the bioavailability of certain minerals like calcium and iron. Composite flours made by using finger millet can be used for preparation of various nutrient dense recepies which can be effectively used for supplementary feeding programs.
Key words: Bioavailability, malting, chemical composition, composite flour, antinutrients.
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