Gluten-free puffed snacks of rice and cassava
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The growing demand for gluten-free products in recent years has necessitated the quest for suitable raw materials. Rice flour and cassava starch are gaining interest in the gluten-free food industry because of their favorable characteristics. Apart from the intrinsic properties of the raw materials, industrial factors relating to the process, product quality, and sensory acceptance by the consumers are crucial for new product development. Here, we report the effect of extrusion temperature, screw speed, moisture, and amount of cassava starch in the rice flour mixture on the physical properties of gluten-free puffed snacks. Extrusion was carried out using a single-screw extruder in a central composite rotational design, which combines shear forces, high pressure, and high temperature in a short time. The extruded snacks were evaluated for the radial expansion index, specific volume, water absorption index, water solubility index, and hardness. Results showed that the amount (%) of cassava starch in the rice flour mixture was a determinant factor in snack production. A low percentage of cassava starch (10%) and moisture (14%), along with lower temperature in the extrusion zone (90 °C) and 233 rpm screw speed, produced snacks with desirable characteristics such as high expansion, low density, good crispiness, light color, and low water solubility index. In addition, the snacks obtained under these conditions exhibited good sensory acceptance.