Submitted to: Oat Newsletter
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: June 12, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Oat quality is defined by its end use. Different end uses dictate different quality specifications. Oat quality is measured from the test weight, groat percentage, whole kernel characteristics (size, color, uniformity), and groat characteristics (size, hardness, uniformity, composition). Test weight is by far the most commonly used oat quality parameter. The ease and simplicity of the test weight measurement, along with its correlation with groat percentage, make it an important test for oat quality evaluation. Image analysis is developing as an alternative to test weight, where digitized images of oat kernels, along with their mass can provide measurements highly correlated with groat percentage and test weight. Groat percentage represents the economic yield from a given sample of oat, but its value is strongly affected by the method used to measure it. Oat whole kernel size can be evaluated from thousand kernel weights, sieving on slotted sieves, or by image analysis. An advantage of image analysis is that uniformity of kernel size is also evaluated. Resistance to groat breakage during dehulling is defined as groat hardness and is a relatively new quality factor. Groat hardness can be measured directly from breakage after dehulling, by an automated kernel analyzer, or by bran yield. Economically important components of groat composition include starch, protein, oil, and beta-glucans. Each chemical component can be determined by a variety of specific chemical means. Near Infrared Reflectance (NIR) is frequently used as a fast means to estimate many chemical components simultaneously. Any quality measurement will vary from laboratory to laboratory. Measurements on new material should be compared relative to cultivars of known character for improved reliability.