The word cereal is derived from ceres, the Roman Goddess of grain. The common cereal crops are rice, wheat, corn, oats and rye. The term cereal is not limited to these but also flours, meals, breads and alimentary pastes or pasta. Cereal science is a study concerned with all technical aspects of cereal. It is the study the nature of the cereals and the changes that occurs naturally and as a result of handling and processing.

Saturday, October 02, 2021

Antioxidants in barley grain

Barley (Hordeum vulgare) is a widely consumed cereal. Barley was one of the first agricultural domesticates together with wheat, pea, lentils dating from about 10,000 years ago.

Antioxidants in grains may play an important role in the chronic disease prevention by arresting oxidative damage caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS) to vital biomolecules such as DNA, lipids, and proteins.

Barley is gaining renewed interest as an ingredient for production of functional foods due to its high contents of bioactive compounds such as β-glucans, tocopherols and tocotrienols.

Epidemiological studies have associated the regular consumption of barley with its potential to reduce the risk of certain diseases, such as chronic heart disease, colon-cancer, high blood pressure, and gallstones.

Moreover, there are many classes of phenolic compounds in barley and their high content of phenolic compounds such as phenolic acids (benzoic and cinnamic acid derivatives), proanthocyanidins, tannins, flavonols, chalcones, flavones, flavanones, and amino phenolic compounds.

The flavanols, such as catechin, procyanidins and prodelphinidins are the predominant compounds of barley phenolic extract in the free form, while phenolic acids, such as ferulic, sinapic and coumaric acids, mainly exist in bound form.

The abundant content of phenolic compounds in barley reveals that it may serve as an excellent dietary source of natural antioxidants with antiradical and antiproliferative potentials for disease prevention and health promotion.

Many researches suggest that these phenolic acids are absorbed in humans and that their antioxidant activity may reduce the risk of coronary heart diseases, cancers, and the aging processes.

Among all cereals, barley is the richest source of tocols, which consist of tocopherols and tocotrienols. Studies have indicated that α-tocotrienol is a more effective antioxidant than α-tocopherol, but it is less bioavailable after oral ingestion, when both ingested.
Antioxidants in barley grain

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