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Lotus stems are incredibly nourishing, contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and protect against osteoporosis, PEM, and anaemia. The present investigation aimed to study the potential of using an under-utilized but highly nutritious lotus stem. The research method entailed analyzing several cookie compositions based on the amount of lotus stem powder. Cookies made with refined wheat flour were used as control. Preliminary experiments were carried out to find out optimum level of lotus stem powder (LSP) with refined wheat flour (RWF) for the preparation of fortified cookies and quality evaluation like analysis of nutritional, physical and sensory properties of the developed cookies incorporated with lotus stem powder was done using standard methods. So, in this study, Nelumbo Nucifera rhizome (Lotus stem) powder which is a pack of micronutrients was fortified in cookies by replacing refined flour at proportions viz. T0 (0%), T1 (10%), T2 (20%) and T3 (30%). Sensory analysis of cookies was performed by 12 panelists using 9-point hedonic scale rating system. Physical and proximate analysis of control and lotus stem cookies was done. Statistical analysis was done in triplicates, using statistical package for the social sciences (SPSS ver. 23) software. With the exception of protein, which slightly decreased in T3 (8.4gm+0.12) when compared to the control (10.73gm +0.18), macronutrients were not significantly changed when dried lotus stem powder was added to the cookies. However iron levels significantly improved after being fortified with dry LSP. As the level of substitution increased, there was a significant (p<0.05) increase in iron and ash content. Comparing control and experimental samples, cookies enriched with 20% dried lotus stem powder (T2) was found to be more palatable.
The outcome of this research proved that cookies made with 20% LSP were highly accepted with an overall acceptance score of 8.55±0.60 from the sensory evaluation without affecting their sensory appeal. Compared to control cookies, LSP-supplemented cookies exhibited considerably higher iron levels The cookies also had the following nutrient content per 100 gm of cookies: 576Kcal energy; 9.76gm protein content; 79.2gm carbohydrate content; 22.5gm fat content; 10.53% moisture content; 5.58% ash content; 15.4mg iron content with the following physical properties of each cookie: weight 19.87gm, thickness 7.20mm, diameter 38.80mm and spread ratio 5.40.Therefore, LSP incorporated cookies might be a part of the nation's supplemental feeding programs, which seek to mitigate the detrimental effects of micronutrient deficiencies in toddlers