BACKGROUND: Steaming and roasting treatments are widely used enzyme deactivation methods in the oat food industry in China. Whether or not the enzyme deactivation treatments affect the nutritional function of oat foods is unknown. In the current study, we examined the effects of 4-week ingestion of steamed or roasted oat foods on the intestinal bacteria and short-chain fatty acids of rats.
RESULTS: Compared with rats taking no oat foods, rats taking normal oat foods or enzyme-deactivated oat foods showed significantly higher (P < 0.05) counts of Lactobacillus spp. and Bifidobacterium spp. in colon, significantly lower (P < 0.05) counts of Enterococcus spp. and coliforms in colon, and significantly higher (P < 0.05) levels of butyrate and acetate in colonic digesta. In addition, rats taking infrared roasting (IR)-treated oat foods also demonstrated significantly higher (P < 0.05) fecal Lactobacillus spp. counts and significantly lower (P < 0.05) cecal and fecal counts of E. coli, Enterococcus spp. and coliforms than rats taking no oat foods. As for the comparison between the enzyme-undeactivated oat group and the three enzyme-deactivated oat groups, there were no significant differences in most of the parameters (P > 0.05), though a few exceptions did exist.
CONCLUSION: Enzyme deactivation treatments did not decrease the beneficial role of oat food in the intestinal microbes and short-chain fatty acids of rats. © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry