GRILLING A pizza has become fashionable but there is at least one traditional product that is tailor made for grill is chapatti. Since no Pakistani meal is complete without accompanying bread with it, unless it’s a rice dish. Bread is served with every single meal three times a day in an average Pakistani home. Fresh breads are cooked with every meal on day to day basis in Pakistan. The variety of bread that is cooked on normal cooking stove is “flat breads”. Flat breads are cooked on flat griddle pans. Pakistani flat breads are cooked in versatility according to taste and preferences.
Globally, rice and wheat are the most significant crops, contributing over 50% of the world’s cereal production. In Pakistan, growth of population is increasing at rate of 1.9% however, growth of food production is much slow than demand. Self-sufficiency in wheat is of immense importance for sustainable food security since it is the key component of Pakistani diet. In 2014, there was 25.3 million tones production of wheat in Pakistan. Over 50% of energy source in our diet comes from wheat and average consumption is 318g for an individual per day. In daily diet of Pakistani people, 72% of total calories and protein are contributed by common wheat. Due to its ability to form viscoelastic dough it is used to make leavened and unleavened products.
Chapatti is flat unleavened baked product which is prepared from whole wheat flour and staple food for the people of Subcontinent while leavened bread is staple food in the western world. In South Asia, wheat is consumed in distinct forms of flat bread including Chapatti, Parotha, Phulka, Puri along with Tandoori Roti. In Pakistan, 80% of total wheat is used for the production of flat unleavened baked bread (chapatti) and its culinary variations such as naans, poories, parathas and roti. However, remaining 20% is used for production of other bakery products like cookies, pastries, cakes and breads etc. The quality of chapatti is determined by the quality of wheat including gluten percentage and starch properties.
In spite of vast marketing potential, commercial and industrial marketing has not been started due to high risk of perishing. Freshly baked chapatti has limited shelf life up to 24 hours. After one day of storage, it is deteriorated due to moisture loss, fungal growth and change in chemical and physical properties. Some studies have been conducted to prevent chapattis from yeast and molds. For ideal operational situations where cooking amenities are inadequate, chapatti can be conserved in ready to eat form.
Several efforts have been done to increase the shelf life of chapatti with the addition of antimycotic agent, like sorbic acid, propionic acid and other ingredients. However, due to preservative addition, chapatti developed slightly bitter after taste. So there is need to use the proper amount of preservative. Potassium sorbate addition (0.03%) in chapatti may increase the shelf life up to 9th days by destroying or changing the cell structure of yeast and molds, it also delays changes in flavor, color and texture of product. Shelf life of chapattis can be increased by applying thermal treatment, partial baking and proper packaging.
Due to changing global trends and awareness, people prefer to consume organic food, the same applies to chapattis. Technologies are being developed to prepare good quality chapatti without the use of preservatives. Due to increasing population and urbanization, commercial production needs to be started. Shelf life of chapattis can be increased after baking by frozen or partial baking. When needed to consume it is thawed and reheated. Partial baking involves two steps method, first step is baking of proofed dough followed by cooling at room temperature.
Chapattis are then frozen and packed. Proper product packaging plays an important role during processing operations. It decreases wastage, increase the shelf life and prevent product from spoilage. There are two aspect of packaging one is technical that deals with shelf life and other is presentational. Packaging prevents the chapattis from external environmental constraints, increase the aesthetic value, helps in brand identity and convenience to consumer. Ingredients, processing, packaging material and conditions are four major factors that affect the product during storage. Shelf life of chapattis can also be increase by thermally processed retort pouch packaging techniques without the use of preservatives and chapattis may remain safe through whole period of storage. This technique could be used by armies because they need ready to eat food during combat operation. In this we firstly packed the chapattis in retort pouches then heats sterilized in auto calve. By using retort processed techniques we can store chapattis for a long period of times.
By using different techniques we can preserved our traditional products. Poor bioavailability and consumption result in multiple micronutrients deficiencies. Huge population can be easily covered if we consider staple food as a source of supplementation. Chapatti made from whole wheat flour is rich source of fiber. So, it was concluded that fibrous food is a vital source that can easily reduce the glucose, cholesterol and triglyceride level in the blood. There is a need to explore the hidden sources of dietary fiber for the improvement of nutritional status of many food products. Therefore from this article it is inferred that for increasing the shelf life of chapatti and ensuring its availability, the above mentioned techniques can be employed so that for people who are in severe environmental and difficult circumstances having limited access to food, preserved chapatti by using such techniques, can make difference.