Meat is traditionally a fiber-free food. But a doctoral student at the University of Missouri may be changing that.
In a recent experiment, Ayca Gedikoglu from the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources tested the effect of adding citrus fiber to a meatball recipe.
Gedikoglu wanted to see if adding the tangy, sweet powder could boost fiber content of meatballs, without negatively affecting texture and acceptability.
With her adaptations, Gedikoglu was able to produce a restaurant-sized portion of citrus meatballs containing 2% citrus fiber and 5 grams of fiber that retained acceptable taste and texture levels when tested on unwitting subjects. Regular meatballs have 0 grams fiber.
The researcher suggests that citrus powder might be used as a replacement for bread crumbs in meatball recipes.
Citrus powder – which is made from the peels of citrus fruits – can be purchased online, at a relatively cheap price.
Healthy adults should aim to eat roughly 30 grams of dietary fiber per day. Since the average American only gets 15 grams per day, fortified meatballs (especially when made with extra-lean ground beef) might be a tasty, high protein way to bridge the fiber gap.