The impact of steeping, germination and hydrothermal processing of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) grains on phytate hydrolysis and the distribution, speciation and bio-accessibility of iron and zinc elements.Food Chem. 2018 Oct 30; 264:367-376.FC
Chelation of iron and zinc in wheat as phytates lowers their bio-accessibility. Steeping and germination (15 °C, 120 h) lowered phytate content from 0.96% to only 0.81% of initial dry matter. A multifactorial experiment in which (steeped/germinated) wheat was subjected to different time (2-24 h), temperature (20-80 °C) and pH (2.0-8.0) conditions showed that hydrothermal processing of germinated (15 °C, 120 h) wheat at 50 °C and pH 3.8 for 24 h reduced phytate content by 95%. X-ray absorption near-edge structure imaging showed that it indeed abolished chelation of iron to phytate. It also proved that iron was oxidized during steeping, germination and hydrothermal processing. It was further shown that zinc and iron bio-accessibility were respectively 3 and 5% in wheat and 27 and 37% in hydrothermally processed wheat. Thus, hydrothermal processing of (germinated) wheat paves the way for increasing elemental bio-accessibility in whole grain-based products.