In developing countries malnutrition is a significant challenge affecting millions of people, particularly
children. Researchers have been working on developing protein- and dietary fiber-enriched,
micronutrient-fortified snacks using extrusion technology to address this issue. Corn, soybean, and
chickpea flour have been used as ingredients in these fortified snacks, which have shown promising
results in alleviating micronutrient and macronutrient deficiencies among children.

Market growth and diversification

The puffed and extruded snacks category has experienced tremendous growth in recent years, with
sales approaching $10 billion annually. Consumers are increasingly seeking healthier alternatives to
traditional snack products, resulting in a more diverse and dynamic market. Brands like CFAM
Technologies, which designs and manufactures world-class food and feed processing equipment, are
contributing to this growth by providing innovative solutions for the snack industry.

Key ingredients in nutritional extruded snacks

Legumes: Soybean and chickpeas

Soybean and chickpea are two key ingredients used in the development of nutritional extruded
snacks due to their high protein content and essential amino acids. These legumes not only contribute
to the overall nutritional value of the snacks but also enhance their flavor and texture.

Dietary fiber: Guar gum

Guar gum is an excellent source of dietary fiber, with a high concentration of soluble dietary fiber
(75%) and insoluble dietary fiber (7.6%). The inclusion of guar gum in extruded snacks helps increase
satiety and prolong gastric emptying time, contributing to the overall health benefits of these products.

Alternative ingredients: Peas, lentils, and chickpeas

Some brands are shifting away from traditional corn-based snacks in favor of alternative, nutrient-
dense product substrates like peas, lentils, and chickpeas. These ingredients not only provide a
unique flavor profile but also offer additional health benefits, such as higher protein content and
improved overall nutrition.

For relevant conferences and workshops regarding food & feed extrusion, visit
www.ExtruAfrica.org.za. The next available course is taking place in August 2023, in Kenya. This
course will focus on the applications of extrusion for developing countries. It is focused on technical
and practical applications of extrusion and presented by international industry expert, Prof Mian Riaz
from Texas A&M University.