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ready-to-eat immature cereal product

Identification

Key words Ready-to-eat, immature, cereal, wheat, brine, hydrothermal treatment
Latest version 2012/11/27
Completed by INRA - IATE

How does it work?

Primary objective To offer a new convenient cereal product with high nutritive qualities (higher oligoelements and fibre content than existing products - see “short comings”), better bioavailability of minerals and ease of preparation. It can be used cold or warmed up (e.g. by slow microwave heating).
Working principle Cereal grains are harvested in immature conditions, i.e. with a 50-to-70 % moisture level (e.g. “green grain”). They are kept under inert atmosphere and at low temperature (limiting oxidation). Next, glumes and/or glumallae are removed without drying or roasting. Finally, a hydrothermal treatment (cooking and sterilisation) is performed and the moisture level is controlled (e.g. in airtight packages with brine). (1)

The immature grains have better nutritive quality than the mature grains because:

  • the fibre content is higher (12 % to 20 % vs 10 % to 15 %)
  • the phytic acid and phytates content is low, which improves the bioavailability of minerals such as iron, zinc
  • the potassium/phosphorus ratio is higher than 1, which improves the assimilation of potassium
  • The fructo-oligosaccharides content is high, which generates a prebiotic effect (proliferation of bifid bacteria, reduction in novice bacteria, protection of hepatic function, reduction in blood pressure, anti-cancer properties, etc.).
  • Compared to an equivalent product made with mature wheat grain, the immature wheat grains present a higher global mineral content, detailed as follows: calcium 58.3mg/100g vs 33.5 for the mature grain, magnesium 111.1mg/100g vs 37.8 for the mature grain, iron 2,9mg/100g vs 3.08 for the mature grain. This is partly due to the loss of the germ in the mature grains, which is also rich in carotenoids and vitamins B1, B2, B6, B9, and E.

(1,2,3)

Images
Additional effects As the last step of the method, the immature grains can be dried to be used as traditional cereal grains (incorporated in preparations, reduced into semolina/flour, etc.) or even cattle feed.

(1)

Important process parameters The glumes and/or glumellae should be removed without drying or roasting.

The moisture level after hydrothermal cooking should be controlled (e.g. for wheat grains between 65 and 75 %) in order to get a product with a soft texture.

Important product parameters The moisture level of the grains should be from 50 to 70 % for harvesting.

The oxidation of the grains should be limited (e.g. inert atmosphere).

What can it be used for?

Products Wheat.

The principle must be adapted for Poaceae (Rice, barley, oats, rye, millet, sorghum, etc.).

Operations the processing of the product encompasses Separation, stabilizing, structure forming,
Solutions for short comings Highly nutritive cereal products

Prebiotic products Improved nutritional value (compared to patent EP0561092: pre-treated whole mature durum wheat grain as a new product). Ready-to-eat healthy cereal product (compared to EP0561092: cooking time in water 10 minutes).

What can it NOT be used for?

Products The method must be validated for other Poaceae than durum wheat.

Any other than cereals.

Operations not applicable
Other limitations Defining the right harvesting window is quite difficult.

Harvesting within a very short period can turn out to be a logistical challenge.

Risks or hazards not known

Implementation

Maturity A patent has been registered and exploited by Epigrain SAS (France) between 2005 and 2008 by producing a new product called Grinn’s.

The patent is currently not exploited.

Modularity /Implementation Such products can be obtained with conventional device (maybe except for the dehusking process).
Consumer aspects From the Epigrain SAS experience we can assume that the consumers are totally comfortable with the idea of eating immature cereals.

Yet, an innovative product on its own is not sufficient for a successful market penetration.

Legal aspects Patent: US2009/0226594 A1
Environmental aspects not known

Further Information

Institutes INRA - IATE
Companies Sud Céréales, BSTZ, Arterris
References Patent:

(1) Abecassis J., Bouniol A., Chaurand M. 2008. Method for obtaining monocotyledon plant grains for human or animal food. US2009/0226594 A1

Official website:

(2) http://www.afssa.fr/TableCIQUAL/index.htm : Search for “germe de blé” (=wheat germ) (2011/05/24)

Publication:

(3) Paradiso, A., Cecchini, C., De Gara, L., D’Egidio, M.G., 2005. Functional, antioxidant and rheological properties of meal from immature durum wheat. Journal of Cereal Science : 43, pp. 216-222

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Created by Hte inra on 23 September 2011, at 09:36