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RESEARCHER TURNS POTATO PEELS INTO FLOUR

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A researcher has devised a way to use discarded potato peelings to make high-fiber muffins.

Mary Ellen Camire, assistant professor of food science, said the result of processing the peelings using a method called extrusion cooking, is a substance that can be ground into a bran-like flour.Camire said the flour has been tested in muffins, but more research is needed to perfect the method. The flour is dark brown and grainy, and researchers want to lighten the color and tone down the flavor.

Camire said the potato-peel flour is about 40 percent dietary fiber - twice as much as oat bran - and can be used in everything from cookies to cereal to snack foods.

Camire said the next step in her research is to examine the potato fiber's effect on cholesterol and carcinogens in the body, then pass the results on to potato processing companies who deal with millions of pounds of potato waste.