By Darmarajah Nadarajah
Having a birthday? Fancy using mango and guava to make your cakes. Researchers Noriham Abdullah, Izzreen Ishak, Chemah, T.C., Rohasmizah Hamzah and Nurulhuda Mohd of the Faculty of Applied Science, UiTM, Shah Alam, used mango and guave peel and seeds to bake their cakes. They dried the peel, later ground it into a powder and added to the cake – a savoury way to save fruit waste.
Cakes, often seen in disdain, many a time called a fattening food, now could be called healthy food as fruit peel and seeds of vegetables are used as substitutes for synthetic food
preservatives. Noriham and team discovered that the fruit peel showed oxidative stability and
had an impact on prolonging the shelf life of the cake. It looks like fruit peel and seeds from
vegetables have potentials in cake industry.
The researchers also discovered that the deli-fibre cake had several distinctive health benefits and commercial potential. One such benefit of the fruit peel in the deli-fibre cake is the presences of antioxidants. More and more diseases - Alzheimer's, cancer and heart disease are being linked to what is called "oxidant stress" in the body, a form of tissue damage wreaked by free radicals in diet and environment. To prevent these diseases, we rely on the superheroes of the body, the antioxidants, found predominantly in whole plant foods like fruits. Most studies measuring the antioxidant power in fruits have only studied the pulp of the fruit. This study focussed on the peel of two tropical fruits, mango and guava, found in abundance in Malaysia. Numerous other researches have shown that, the peel and seed of some types of fruits have more antioxidants than their pulp.
High fibre content is another health benefits of the deli-fibre cake. Foods with high fibre are essential for people who want to burn fat or lose weight. Intake of high fibre helps in the burning of fat and makes one’s body immune to several diseases. Studies have shown that fruit peel is generally a rich source of fibre. Adding fruit peel to your cake will reduce the fat content of the cake, making them “healthy food”.
A strong selling point in the food industry, without compromising on taste is to add the slogan, “healthy food”. Adding fruit peel to cakes enhances the commercial value of the product. The availability of cheap raw materials will be another boost in increasing the profit margin of those who dare to venture into this business. Food ingredients from plant waste, the peel and seeds, contain several health and commercial benefits.
Innovation and discoveries on plant base ingredients will definitely help in the production of healthy cakes. ‘The sky is the limit’.
This research won a silver medal at the Malaysia Trade Expo 2009.
Researcher can be contacted at