The formulation was developed by researchers at the Department of Food Technology of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.
The developers have applied for a patent and said that manufacturers will be able to bring products to market once it is granted.
The biscuit uses teff flour, a gluten free cereal used in Ethiopia and Eritrea. The researchers say that the formulation requires no added fat or artificial thicker as is often needed in other gluten-free foods, which reduces the calorie-count.
They added that the product would appeal to athletes, diabetics and people with anemia and would carry a lower price point compared to similar market offerings.
“One of the main problems of producers of cooked food derived from free gluten cereals is the modification of the rheological properties of mass due to that the viscoelastic gluten network is not developed,” said the researchers.
Teff flour, an ancient crop from Ethiopia and Eritrea that is rich in carbohydrates and fibre.
“These compounds have a high capacity to absorb water and act also as binder in the dough, alleviating the problems deriving from the absence of gluten in cereal,” said the researchers.
Other than teff flour, the biscuit formulation includes skimmed milk, non-fat plain yogurt, brown sugar, defatted cocoa powder, orange zest and hazelnuts.
The researchers claim that 100g of teff contain between 9 and 15 g of proteins, 73g of carbohydrates, 2g of fat and 3g of fiber.
“The essential amino acids content is also remarkable,” continued the researchers. “It is rich in zinc and iron. In addition, teff flour has a low glycemic index resulting in a slow digestion of its carbohydrates,” they said.
The researchers added that manufacturers would not need to alter existing processes in order to produce the teff flour functional biscuit.