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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Functional Foods Research

2012 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
The overall project goal is to develop new technologies for producing commercially viable functional ingredients that promote human health and wellness from bioactive rich byproducts of the grain-milling industry. Our proposed research is built on the successful developments of the Trim Technologies in prior project research cycles that are marketed globally and generate millions of dollars in annual sales. The goal of this project plan is to be implemented through the following specific objectives: Objective 1: Develop new health promoting bioactive hydrosol products and functional soluble dietary fiber compositions by fractionation and enzymatic modification technologies; Objective 2: Characterize the biological activity of the new health promoting bioactive hydrosols and soluble dietary fibers compositions; Objective 3: Examine efficient enzyme systems for polysaccharide fragmentation with analysis and testing including in vitro and extended shelf-life experiments with collaborators from academia, industry and other ARS locations; Objective 4: Create biobased nano- or micro- composites by interacting nano- or micro- particles with newly developed biobased hydrosols and soluble fibers to improve health benefits for humans including the elderly, obese and children; Objective 5: Evaluate the newly created health promoting compositions in food uses and engage end user stakeholder groups in collaborative projects for technology transfer activities of the technologies and associated products.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
Wholegrain cereal foods and other cereal products contain important sources of phyto-protective and other bioactive components that can occur in short supply in the diets of many consumers of developed nations. The long term goal of this project is to promote optimal health and wellness by creating innovative and economically viable food ingredients from cereal grains. By using scientific and technological conversion of cereal milling byproducts, it is proposed that suitable ingredients can be prepared for incorporation into functional foods. The specific hypothesis is that the conversion of cereal milling byproducts into bioactive functional ingredients will lead to creating natural hydrosol (e.g. colloid solution) and soluble fiber compositions that should be suitable and desirable for use in functional foods. We base that hypothesis on the following observations: 1) cereal milling byproducts contain large quantities of bioactive and phyto-protective compounds; 2) research on phytochemical enrichment and extraction has proven that physical, chemical, and enzymatic treatment can produce phyto-protective and bioactive rich materials as food ingredients. They do not appear to interfere with processing/manufacturing properties and sensory profiles in functional food formulations. Based on these observations, we propose basic and applied research on these functional ingredients to be created from the cereal milled byproducts by determining their processing parameters and structure/property characteristics. Furthermore, structural and physical properties also will be determined by using microscopy, SEM, X-ray diffraction, infrared spectroscopy, RVA, NMR and DSC. They also will be evaluated for their biological activities, chemical and processing properties for applications in functional foods. The proposed project will build upon our prior successes with the Trim products, a series of widely commercialized functional ingredients produced from cereal grains. This proposal will help with the continued advancement in food science that has moved the food industry along from just identifying and correcting nutritional deficiencies to creating functional foods that promote optimal health and wellness.

3. Progress Report:
The recent research has generated science and technologies for developing new functional food opportunities, market applications, and greater health benefits. New, high-value food products from agricultural commodities as well as their by-products were prepared as described in NP 306. New and expanded markets for cereal grains are important for improving the profitability of American agriculture including the utilization of agricultural by-products. Also there are substantial benefits to American consumers for functional foods based on using these ingredients for reducing medical expenses and improving wellness. New bioactive food ingredients were prepared that can be easily incorporated into functional food formulations and can provide greater health benefits for consumers. New hydrocolloidal composites were prepared for new developments including expanded TRIM technologies developments. These new composites have omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids along with a beta-glucan component found in prior TRIM products. A number of functional foods with enhanced levels of bioactive ingredients with established efficacy, bioavailability, and safety, are still in development. Research continues on new bioactive ingredients (i.e., antioxidants, polyphenolics, soluble fibers, omega-3, and 6 fatty acids). Our new bioactive hydrocolloids are new functional food ingredients prepared from chia and beta-glucan sources. A patent application has been submitted for consideration so these developments will provide a continued expansion of TRIM technologies.

4. Accomplishments
1. Barley antioxidants. The antioxidant activities of cereal grains have gained a growing interest as a tool for exploring the reputed role of antioxidant-rich products in the prevention of degenerative disease. Agricultural Research Service scientists in the Functional Food Research Unit at the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research in Peoria, IL, found that jet-cooked barley flour at various pH values gave slightly decreased free phenolic contents and free antioxidant activities, but significantly increased the bound phenolic contents and antioxidant activities, regardless of pH. It was found that the barley flour was an excellent source of antioxidant activities and dietary fibers. These studies that explore new extraction technology for antioxidant compounds will have a significant positive impact on health benefits.

2. Corn bran potential use. The reputed role of antioxidant-rich cereal products in the prevention of degenerative disease has attracted much research attention. A by-product of corn processing, corn bran was subjected to high-shear and jet-cooking with or without alkaline treatment. The highest antioxidant activity was found in the soluble solids from jet-cooked corn bran without alkaline treatment. Jet-cooking under alkaline conditions resulted in a soluble fraction having the highest phenolic content but without increasing antioxidant activity. The insoluble solids from alkaline treatment had the highest water holding capacity and potentially useful viscoelastic properties. Agricultural Research Service scientists in the Functional Food Research Unit at the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research in Peoria, IL, conducted these studies to explore the extraction technology for corn bran compounds that will have positive impact on health benefits.

3. Improved buckwheat noodles. Some components of buckwheat improve their functional and health qualities. Rutin is a component in buckwheat flour that improves health benefits. A method was devised to minimize rutin loss in buckwheat flour. When steaming and autoclaving treatments were applied to buckwheat grains, the rutin loss was minimized and a conversion product, quercetin, was hardly found in buckwheat noodles as well as buckwheat flour. The results of this study, carried out by Agricultural Research Service scientists in the Functional Food Research Unit at the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research in Peoria, IL, in collaboration with Korean scientists, will be helpful in maintaining the beneficial health effects of buckwheat-based food products.

4. Health benefits of oat products. Oat product studies revealed that the rheological characteristics of various oat ß-glucan products provided functional properties on the relationship between ß-glucan contents, viscoelastic properties of oat bran concentrate, and related products. The properties of these oat products could be valuable for developing new functional foods such as yogurt, instant puddings, custard, batter, smoothies, and ice cream. Based on the studies, carried out by Agricultural Research Service scientists in the Functional Food Research Unit at the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research in Peoria, IL, these oat products and properties appear to have great potential in functional foods for health concerned consumers.

Review Publications
Yoo, J., Kim, Y., Yoo, S-H., Inglett, G.E., Lee, S. 2012. Reduction of rutin loss in buckwheat noodles and their physicochemical characterization. Food Chemistry. 132:2107-2111.

Min, B., Lee, S., Yoo, S., Inglett, G.E., Lee, S. 2010. Functional characterization of steam jet-cooked buckwheat flour as a fat replacer in cake-baking. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. 90:2208-2213.

Inglett, G.E., Chen, D., Xu, J., Lee, S. 2013. Pasting and rheological properties of ß-glucan-enriched hydrocolloids from oat bran concentrate. Journal of Food Processing and Preservation. 37:792-798.

Inglett, G.E., Chen, D. 2012. Antioxidant and pasting properties of oat ß-glucan hydrocolloids. Food and Nutrition Sciences. 3:827-835.

Last Modified: 07/26/2017
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