Enhancing antioxidant activity and extractability of bioactive compounds of wheat bran using thermal treatments
Dona, Arshala Madapathage
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Wheat bran contains a diverse collection of macronutrients, micronutrients and bioactive components, including those thought to have an important role in reducing the risk of many chronic diseases. The complication of wheat bran as a functional food relates to its high insoluble fibre content, which renders bran and its constituent bioactives largely indigestible, and hence with limited bioavailability. The main objective of this thesis research was to evaluate the effects of heat treatments of branon the antioxidant activity and chemical composition of the bran. Presumably, if the solubility of wheat bran can be enhanced by pre-treatment, its biological impact associated with its fibre and resident phytochemicals would also be enhanced. Compared to untreated bran, freeze dried water soluble extracts of thermally treated bran had substantially enhanced levels of antioxidant activity and signficantly increased concentration of a very broad spectrum of bran bioactive constituents including phenolics, minerals, phytate, B vitamins, and non-starch polysaccharide fibre compounds. Results taken together point to the development of novel wheat bran and extracts with considerable commercial potential for whole grain food use and a variety of nutraceutical applications far beyond what may be possible with whole grain wheat or normal bran. Outcomes of the research highlight the conclusion that the nutritional and functional food benefits of normal wheat bran probably represent a fraction of its potential due to the limited digestibility of wheat bran, which in turn, limits the bioavailability of its fiber and constituent bioactive compounds.