When we say Multigrain, it is not just more than one grain in the flour content, in fact it is a combination of five to six grains or sometimes even more. Mostly what we get in market in a multigrain packet is just some flour with another added grain like barley or maize. A little effort on the buyer’s part is required to go through the main ingredients listed in the packet and make sure of the ingredients and their nutrition claims. An essential thing to note is that a flour with a Multigrain label mentions ‘Whole’ grains so as to make it more healthy than just any ‘Single Whole Grain’ flour. As we all know, whole grain itself is beneficial for health so a ‘Multigrain’ flour would logically be multiple times beneficial. Another must check in the ingredients’ list is the percentage of ‘Whole’ grain in it. Always go for the ‘100%’ claims in packages so that you are sure all grains are ‘Whole’ grains in the mixture. Sometimes companies do not mention the quantity or percentage of the added grains in the Multigrain packet, so it is difficult to know how much of each grain or in what proportion the flours contain. A trick to know the main ingredients is to check the names of the topmost grains which will give a fair idea of which grains are majorly used in the flour. Mostly all Multigrain flours will have wheat as its main ingredient. Apart from whole wheat- millets, maize, barley, buckwheat, flax seeds, rice, corn, rye, oats and even pulses are other common components found in multigrain flours. Not all components are used in every Multigrain flour. In a particular Multigrain product mostly a combination is used which may have more than two to about six components.
Multigrain is not just a flour, there is another variety called the Multigrain Rava which is granulated or coarsely ground grains used for making dosa, idli, upma, porridge, etc. In it the bran, germ and endosperm or the entire grain is used. Another variety is the sprouted variety which will have the grain or legumes soaked and sprouted and then made into flour or rava. To incorporate more grains in diet a Multigrain flour or rava is a better choice. Just as the name goes the preparation of Multigrain is also done in multiple types. The best type will be the ‘Whole grain’ type where the kernels of all the grains are used thus making the flour or rava most healthy and fibrous. Refined flours of various grains too is used in Multigrain atta. This flour is stripped off its nutritious powers while the grains go through the ‘refining’ process. The third type will probably have both i.e., some whole grains and some refined flours or bleached and processed flours in it. To get the optimum benefit of your Multigrain variety you should be sure that it comes from Whole grains. Next time you are at a grocery errand be prudent to look not just for ‘Whole grain’ combo but also whether it is an organic and pesticide free product or not. The rich flavor of Multigrain flour and its dense texture make it the foremost flour for baking bread which is very filling and is bursting with health. This flour has another avatar in the form of crackers which are tasty thin biscuits popular as in-between-meals snacks.