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Gluten Free Cereal - Teff

Teff

Gluten Free Cereal - Teff

Eragrostis tef is an annual cereal grass belonging to the family of the Poaceae. Teff is a C4 plant and is an intermediate between a tropical and temperate grass. The name teff is thought to originate from the Amharic word teffa, which means “lost”. This probably refers to its tiny seeds, which have a diameter smaller than 1 mm. Teff is a fine-stemmed, tufted grass with large crowns and many tillers.

As for many ancient crops, teff is quite adaptive and can grow in various environmental conditions; particularly, teff can be cultivated in dry environments, but also under wet conditions on marginal soils.

Teff originates from Ethiopia where it is one of the most important cereals.It is grown for its tiny seeds and also for its straw to feed the cattle.The small seeds reach a 1000 seed weight of 0.3 to 0.4 grams and can have a color from a white to a deep reddish brown.

Teff is a multipurpose crop which has a high importance for the Ethiopian diet and culture. Teff is the main ingredient to prepare injera, a sourdough-risen flatbread. During meals, it is often eaten with meat or ground pulses. Moreover, teff can be used to prepare different alcoholic drinks, such as beers.Finally, because of its high mineral content, teff is also mixed with soybeans, chickpeas or other grains to provide baby food.

Nutritional Value

Uncooked teff is 9% water, 73% carbohydrates, 13% protein, and 2% fat. Cooked teff is 75% water, 20% carbohydrates, 4% protein, and less than 1% fat. In a 100 gram amount, cooked teff provides 101 calories, is a rich source of protein, dietary fiber, and manganese, and contains moderate amounts of thiamin, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, and zinc. The fiber content in teff is also higher than in most other cereals.

Teff is gluten free, making it unappealing in taste and texture for baked products. However, a method has been developed to process teff into a flour with acceptable baking qualities, such as for bread and pasta.