• Iron;
  • leaching;
  • phytase;
  • zinc


The degradation and leaching of phytates, phytase activity and iron and zinc concentrations have been studied after soaking of whole seeds, dehulled seeds and flours of millet and soybean, in order to investigate the efficiency of soaking on reducing Phy/Fe and Phy/Zn molar ratios. When using millet grains, dehulling and milling before soaking facilitated the leaching of phytates and phytases in the aqueous medium and hence phytate degradation. Dehulling of soybean seeds led to a marked increase in phytate content, whereas milling favoured reactions between phytases and phytates. The Phy/Fe and Phy/Zn molar ratios decreased only slightly during soaking. The highest decreases for millet were obtained after soaking of flour for 8 h (Phy/Fe: 10.8–7.7 and Phy/Zn: 20.3–15.1), and after soaking of whole seeds for 24 h for soybean (Phy/Fe: 10.4–9.4 and Phy/Zn: 23.8–19.1). Cooking of flours with water used for soaking did not increase phytate degradation.