With food prices soaring worldwide, many agricultural researchers are exploring ways in which we can use foods that would normally go to waste. A 2005 study by Zhang, Whistler, BeMiller and Hamaker indicated that one-fifth of bananas go to waste because they are too small and therefore not suitable for sale. Instead of disposing of these bananas, home cooks can transform them into banana starch for use as a thickening agent and in banana puddings and desserts. The peels themselves cannot be used in the starch because they are not edible, but they can be composted and reused as gardening soil.
Things You'll Need
2000ppm sodium metabisulfite solution
Plastic bags or containers
Inspect the bananas. They should be ripe but not overripe or the starch will not dry well.
Wash the bananas and peel them.
Cut the bananas into thin slices.
Dip the banana slices into the sodium metabisulfite solution and allow them to soak for one minute. The sodium metabisulfite reduces the pulp in the banana and helps it to dry more efficiently.
Dry them in your mechanical drier at 140-170 degrees until they are hard.
Grind the banana chips in your food processor on the "pulverize" setting until they form a fine powder.
Pack the banana starch in a plastic bag or a sealed container and store in a cool, dry place. The starch should be usable for up to six months, as long as it remains dry.
Do not over-dry the bananas. If you overheat them, the starch will have a burned flavor and will not be usable.
- "Carbohydrate Polymers"; Banana Starch: Production, Physicochemical Properties, and Digestibility—A Review: Pingyi Zhang, Roy L. Whistler, James N. BeMiller and Bruce R. Hamaker: March 2005
- Food Recap: How to Make Banana Starch
- International Starch Institute: Banana
- Chemical Land: Sodium Metabisulfite