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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2015

Metabolomics study of cereal grains reveals the discriminative metabolic markers associated with anatomical compartments

Coulomb, Marie; Gombert, Antonin; Moazzami, Ali


This study used NMR-based metabolomics to compare the metabolic profile of different anatomical compartments of cereal grains i.e. bran and endosperm in order to gain further insights into their possible role in the beneficial health effects of whole grain products (WG). Polar water-soluble metabolites in 64 bran and endosperm, samples from rye and wheat were observed using 600 MHz NMR. Bran samples had higher contents of 12 metabolites than endosperm samples. A comparative approach revealed higher contents of azelaic acid and sebacic acid in bran than in endosperm. In a pilot study, the consumption of WG rye bread (485 g) caused NMR signals in 24h urine corresponding to azelaic acid. The relatively high abundance, anatomical specificity, pattern of metabolism, urinary excretion in human, antibacterial, and anticancer activities suggest further studying of azelaic acid when exposure to WG or beneficial effects of WG are investigated.


Metabolomics; NMR; wholegrain; rye; wheat; metabolites; biomarkers

Published in

Italian Journal of Food Science
2015, volume: 27, number: 2, pages: 142-150

Authors' information

Coulomb, Marie
Gombert, Antonin
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, The Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG3 Good health and wellbeing

UKÄ Subject classification

Food Science

URI (permanent link to this page)