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Teff, avian superfood or one best avoided?

Spreads for web Parrots 278 4

The Holistic Parrot by Leslie Moran

Teff (Eragrostis tef) is an ancient tropical cereal grain that originated in the northern highlands of Ethiopia and has been cultivated there for centuries. Worldwide, teff is a minor cereal crop. However, in Ethiopia it is a major food grain that is primarily used to make ‘injera’, a traditional fermented Ethiopian pancake. In other countries such as Australia, South Africa, and the United States it is primarily used as a forage crop for animal feed. Globally, many countries are becoming interested in teff because it is a mineral-rich gluten-free grain.

Teff has been recognised as being the tiniest cereal grain there is. Its minute size has created processing problems, but also has nutritional advantages. Because a single teff grain is about 1mm in size, removing it’s outer husk is a nearly impossible task. However, because of this the teff grain is usually eaten cooked and whole which means a higher level of nutrients are consumed.

The colour of teff depends on its variety, and growing conditions, and can vary from an ivory white to dark brown to black and various shades of red. And as with other coloured foods the nutritional content can vary widely between all the different coloured varieties of teff. One published paper discussed nutrient testing that had been done on 13 different teff varieties.

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