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Zero-calorie wafers patented

14th January 2011

A Polish academic has succeeded in winning a patent for a wafer that contains no calories the body can use.

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Researcher Joanna Harasym said her newly protected idea means that zero-calorie wafers could be available to those who want to shed some pounds.

Harasym said the wafers are made of buckwheat hulls, which are rich in antioxidants to boost health at a cellular level.

But dieters could eat as many as they like without fearing weight gain, she said.

The human body cannot absorb the cellulose in the hull of buckwheat, a triangular seed popular in Poland.

Harasym said her invention was not just aimed at slimmers, however, but could also be of use to diabetics and people with intolerance to gluten.

The wafers are chocolate coloured, and have a nutty flavour. More importantly, they will not raise the level of glucose in the blood.

Harasym, who works at the Economic University in the southwestern Polish city of Wroclaw, will look next at developing a beer, also made from buckwheat.

The beer will, unfortunately, contain some calories, she said.

Buckwheat is a grain that was originally found in Asia and North America.  The fruit has a single seed inside a hard, outer hull, similar to a sunflower seed.

Buckwheat noodles have been eaten by people in Tibet and northern China, as mountain climates are not suited to the cultivation of wheat. The noodles can also be found in Japan, where they are known as "soba", and in Korean cuisine.

Is is rich in minerals, a form of antioxidant called flavonoids, and essential amino acids, especially lysine, threonine, tryptophan, and the sulphur-containing amino acids.

Its proponents laud it as a super-food, because it contains so many compounds essential to good health.

In Poland, it is frequently served in the form of groats as a side-dish. The dish is a popular alternative to rice or potatoes.

 


 

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