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Research article, 2006

Molecular weight distribution of beta-glucan in oats and oat products

Andersson, Annica; Andersson, Roger; Åman, Per

Abstract

β-Glucan is a dietary fibre component, predominantly found in the endosperm cell walls of oats and barley. Lately, the interest of β-glucan in cereals has increased because of its nutritional benefits including a serum-cholesterol reducing effect. This effect is at least in part due to increased viscosity in the intestine, which is dependent of the molecular weight of β-glucan. The average molecular weight of β-glucan in Swedish and American oat varieties varied between 1.3 and 2.2 million g/mol. The results indicated that environmental factors were more important than genotype for the molecular weight. In different oat products, like juice, pasta, macaroni, porridge etc, the molecular weight varied enormously (0.3-2.1 million g/mol). Studies on oat bread showed that the mixing and fermentation of the dough decreased the molecular weight significantly. There is a great need to study the effect of different processes on the molecular weight of β-glucan, as well as its importance for the human health

Published in

Sveriges utsädesförenings tidskrift
2006, Volume: 116, number: 1-2, pages: 14-22