Eleusine coracana, or finger millet, is an annual herbaceous plant widely grown as a cereal crop in the arid and semiarid areas in Africa and Asia. It is commonly called kodo in Nepal where 877 accessions have been maintained by National Plant Genetic Resource Centre, Khumaltar, Nepal.
Finger millet is considered one of the most nutritious cereals. Finger millet contains about 5–8% protein, 1–2% ether extractives, 65–75% carbohydrates, 15–20% dietary fiber and 2.5–3.5% minerals. Of all the cereals and millets, finger millet has the highest amount of calcium (344mg%) and potassium (408mg%). The cereal has low fat content (1.3%) and contains mainly unsaturated fat. 100 grams of Finger millet has roughly on an average of 336 KCal of energy in them.
However, the millet also contains phytates (0.48%), polyphenols, tannins (0.61%), trypsin inhibitory factors, and dietary fiber, which were once considered as “anti nutrients” due to their metal chelating and enzyme inhibition activities (Thompson 1993) but nowadays they are termed as neutraceuticals.