Can the sprouting process applied to wheat improve the contents of vitamins and phenolic compounds and antioxidant capacity of the flour?



The content of tocopherols, B vitamins, as well as free soluble, soluble conjugated and insoluble bound phenolic compounds was determined in untreated, steeped and sprouted wheat grains. Antioxidant capacity of whole wheat grains and their phenolic fractions was also evaluated. Sprouting significantly increased the levels of tocopherols, niacin, riboflavin, as well as free and bound phenolic compounds improving nutritional value and antioxidant capacity of wheat grains/flour. After sprouting for 5 days, the content of total phenolics, flavonoids and ferulic acid calculated as the sum of its fractions was increased by 9.9, 30.7 and 21.6%, respectively. The content of α-, β+γ- and δ-tocopherols was increased for 3.59-fold, 2.33-fold and 2.61-fold respectively, while the content of niacin, as predominant B vitamin, was increased for 1.19-fold after sprouting. The total antioxidant capacity of untreated, steeped and sprouted whole wheat grains was 19.44, 20.37 and 22.70 mmol Trolox Eq/kg, respectively. Sprouted wheat, as a rich source of bioavailable phytochemicals, should be used to improve the nutritional quality of food.