Dear Editor – The Member of Parliament (MP) for North West Guadalcanal, Bodo Dettke has received widespread praise from the public for producing flour from green bananas.
Last weekend Mr. Dettke launched and introduced one of his constituency’s new innovative products – the Banana flour products.
“I will find a commercial way for banana farmers in North West Guadalcanal to make money from their bananas instead of leaving them to rot at the Honiara Markets when there’s more supply,” he said.
In the social media forums, commentators have described the MP’s move as beneficial to all Banana farmers in Guadalcanal or even the country as a whole.
I, too, congratulate Mr. Dettke for producing banana flour to help his constituents make money from their crops of green bananas.
Historically, banana flour has been used in Africa and Jamaica as a cheaper alternative to wheat flour. It is now often used as a gluten-free replacement for wheat flours, or as a source of resistant starch which has been promoted by certain dieting trends.
Banana flour, due to the use of green bananas, has a very mild banana flavor raw, and when cooked, it has an earthy flavor; it also has a texture reminiscent of lighter wheat flours and requires about 25% less volume, making it a good replacement for white and white whole-wheat flour.
High in essential minerals and vitamins including zinc, vitamin E, magnesium, and manganese, green-banana flour is also abundant in potassium – so much so that just two tablespoons contain the same amount as seven whole bananas! It also helps lower cholesterol, boosts heart health, and aids nerve and muscles
Banana flour is used as animal feed in various parts of the world. In particular, it is used as an ingredient in milk replacers for calves.
Banana flour production has been offered as a solution to high rates of waste among banana crops by both researchers and officials of various countries. Many unripe green bananas are culled and thrown out as unsuitable for sale or export.
Culled green bananas are still suitable for banana flour production, and if used for this purpose, will significantly reduce waste in banana production. Thus, banana producers will be able to secure greater returns from their crops.
In Thailand, banana flour is available in Supermarkets and a bag of banana flour currently costs about 475 baht a bag, a relatively high price.