Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Cereal Crops Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #293472

Research Project: Enhancement of Hard Spring Wheat, Durum, and Oat Quality

Location: Cereal Crops Research

Title: Phytochemical composition and anticancer activity of germinated wheat

item Lee, Chiwon - North Dakota State University
item Cho, K - North Dakota State University
item Ohm, Jae-bom

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/22/2013
Publication Date: 7/22/2013
Citation: Lee, C.W., Cho, K., Ohm, J.B. 2013. Phytochemical composition and anticancer activity of germinated wheat. American Association of Cereal Chemists International Annual Meeting, September 29-October 2, 2013, Albuquerque, NM. Available:

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Seed germination is a natural method to increase bioactive components that have beneficial effects on human health. Germinated wheat flour samples of a hard red wheat cultivar (Rampart) were prepared after germination of three and five days and investigated for phytochemical composition and anticancer activity. When molecular weight distribution of SDS soluble and insoluble proteins were analyzed by a size exclusion HPLC, the germinated wheat samples were found to contain higher proportion of SDS soluble polymeric and monomeric proteins than non-germinated wheat, indicating degradation of proteins and bread-making quality by germination. As proteins were degraded by germination, great surge of free amino acids was observed for germinated wheat samples. Glutamine, serine, threonine, and tyrosine which were not detected in non-germinated sample were detected in germinated wheat by GC-MS. Gamma-amino butyric acid that is known as a chief inhibitory neurotransmitter substance functioning to relive anxiety in humans was also detected in germinated wheat. Germinated wheat had significantly higher total phenolic compound concentration and antioxidant activity than non-germinated wheat. The concentrations of those components increased as wheat seeds were left to germinate longer. In general, total phenolic compound concentration and antioxidant activity were doubled after 5 days of germination. We also tested influence of a germinated wheat flour sample on human breast cancer cells. Specifically, the wheat flour sample prepared after germination of three days was effective in suppressing growth of estrogen receptor-positive and negative cancer cell lines in vitro. Suppression of the cancer cell growth was influenced by dosage and incubation time, and analysis using a flow cytometer indicated up-regulation of apoptosis of the cancer cells.