Ragi (Finger Millet)

Lesson 9 : Millets

Ragi (Finger Millet)

Ragi is known as finger millet. It is widely consumed practically without any refining by the poorer section of the population. Finger mallet vary in colour from deep brown shades ranging from red to almost black.

  • Nutritive value: Nutritionally it is almost as good as or better than wheat or rice (Table). The nutritive value of ragi is better than that of rice and other cereals. The husk forms 5.6 % of the weight of the grain.

    The average composition of ragi is given in Table





    Mineral matter





    2.2 percent

    It is rich in calcium, phosphorous and iron. The calcium content is higher than in the common cereals and millets. Though its phosphorous content is high, much of it (75.0%) is in the form of phytin phosphorous. It contains B vitamins, but is poor in riboflavin. The major proteins of ragi are prolamins and glutelins . They are adequate in all the essential amino acids.

  • Processing and utilization of Ragi: Ragi is the principal food grain of the rural population in India, especially in the southern region. It is usually converted into flour and a variety of preparations like mudde, gruel,roti, dosa, porridge, etc., are prepared. The grain is also malted and the flour of the malted grain is used as a nourishing food for infants and invalids. Malting releases the amylases which dextrinize the grain starch. An added advantage of malting ragi is production of an agreeable odour developed during the kilning of the preparation of milk beverages.

    • Milling: Ragi can be milled by wet conditioning. It can be steamed followed by milling in a hammer or plate mill or roller flour mill.

    • Malting: Compared to other millets, ragi is most suitable, from the stand point of product quality and enzyme release for malting. The malted ragi flour can be used along with germinated green gram flour to formulate a high calorie dense weaning food having excellent nutritional qualities. Ragi flour can be used with milk beverages.

    • Parboiling of ragi helps in the quality of ragi dumpling by eliminating its slimy texture.

    • Flour from puffed ragi has good flavour and can be used in snacks and supplementary foods.

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Last modified: Friday, 9 December 2011, 6:43 AM