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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2017

The Content of Tocols in South African Wheat; Impact on Nutritional Benefits

Labuschagne, Maryke; Mkhatywa, Nomcebo; Johansson, Eva; Wentzel, Barend; van Biljon, Angeline


Wheat is a major component within human consumption, and due to the large intake of wheat, it has an impact on human nutritional health. This study aimed at an increased understanding of how the content and composition of tocols may be governed for increased nutritional benefit of wheat consumption. Therefore, ten South African wheat cultivars from three locations were fractionated into white and whole flour, the content and concentration of tocols were evaluated by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and vitamin E activity was determined. The content and composition of tocols and vitamin E activity differed with fractionation, genotype, environment, and their interaction. The highest tocol content (59.8 mg kg(-1)) was obtained in whole flour for the cultivar Elands grown in Ladybrand, while whole Caledon flour from Clarence resulted in the highest vitamin E activity (16.3 mg kg(-1)). The lowest vitamin E activity (1.9 mg kg(-1)) was found in the cultivar C1PAN3118 from Ladybrand. High values of tocotrienols were obtained in whole flour of the cultivars Caledon (30.5 mg kg(-1) in Clarens), Elands (35.5 mg kg(-1) in Ladybrand), and Limpopo (33.7 mg kg(-1) in Bultfontein). The highest tocotrienol to tocopherol ratio was found in white flour (2.83) due to higher reduction of tocotrienols than of tocopherols at fractionation. The quantity and composition of tocols can be governed in wheat flour, primarily by the selection of fractionation method at flour production, but also complemented by selection of genetic material and the growing environment.


Triticum aestivum; tocopherol; tocotrienol; vitamin E; genotype; environment

Published in

2017, Volume: 6, number: 11, article number: 95
Publisher: MDPI

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Agricultural Science

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