Tarhana is a traditional cereal-based, fermented food product consumed in Turkey. It is typically prepared by mixing yogurt, wheat flour, yeast, and a variety of vegetables and spices (onions, tomatoes, paprika, salt, mint, thyme, etc.). The dough is then fermented, dried, and granulated. Since it has a low moisture content (around 10%) and low pH (due to the acids produced by lactic acid bacteria and yeasts) tarhana can be stored for 2–3 years (Erkan et al., 2006). It can be readily reconstituted for soup making. The ingredients used for tarhana preparation can vary from region to region, however, cereals and yogurt are the main components (Daǧlioǧlu, 2000).
Immature rice grain is one of the by-products of rice milling process. Immature rice grains are whole grains such as brown rice, albeit having green-yellow seed coat and / or being chalky and brittle. Immature rice grains are always present to some extent depending on mostly environmental conditions, since each rice grain in the field cannot be at the same maturity level during harvest (Buggenhout et al., 2013). Broadly speaking, approximately 5% of immature rice is obtained during milling. It was reported that immature rice grains contained higher levels of protein, reducing sugar, vitamin C, B2, B3, B6, β-carotene, total phenolics, total flavonoids, dietary fibre, tocopherols, and tocotrienols than mature grains (Lin & Lai, 2011; Ji et al., 2013). Although they have a notable potential for use in functional foods and nutraceuticals, they are mainly utilised as feed due to being susceptible to rancidity. It was found that free fatty acid content, which is the primary measure of rancidity, of immature rice grain increased from 5.49% to 35.71% in 3 months of storage at room temperature (Yilmaz et. al., 2018). Therefore, an effective stabilisation process needs to be employed in order to utilise immature rice grains as food rather than feed.
The objective of this study was to investigate the physicochemical, nutritional, functional, and sensorial properties of tarhana made with refined wheat flour partially or completely replaced by immature rice gran flour.
This study was funded by the Turkish Scientifi c and Technological Research Council (TUBITAK) (Project No: 115O605). Fatma Yılmaz Korkmaz and Melike Özer were granted a scholarship for the noted project.
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