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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Functional Foods Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #334452

Research Project: Innovative Processing Technologies for Creating Functional Food Ingredients with Health Benefits from Food Grains, their Processing Products, and By-products

Location: Functional Foods Research

Title: Ancient grains and pseudocereals: chemical compositions, nutritional benefits, and roles in 21st century diets

Author
item MATHEW, ESTHER - Non ARS Employee
item Singh, Mukti

Submitted to: Cereal Foods World
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/10/2016
Publication Date: 11/9/2016
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/5695404
Citation: Mathew, E., Singh, M. 2016. Ancient grains and pseudocereals: chemical compositions, nutritional benefits, and roles in 21st century diets. Cereal Foods World. 61(5):198-203. doi: dx.doi.org/10.1094/CFW-61-5-0198.

Interpretive Summary: This review provides information on the chemical makeup, and nutritional benefits, of the gluten-free ancient grains and pseudocereals, such as sorghum, teff, amaranth, and quinoa. Whole ancient grains, along with their processed and milled byproducts, are important sources of bioactive antioxidants and soluble dietary fibers that can prevent cardiovascular and other diseases. There is an increasing interest in ancient whole grains and pseudocereals as more becomes known about their nutritional benefits. However, in order to take advantage of these benefits, it is crucial that more research be conducted on ways to allow these grains to supplement nutrients that individuals may be deficient in and integrate these grains into the recipes of modern meals. This information will help the processers and consumers, as they incorporate these ancient ingredients in new food products and their diets.

Technical Abstract: In recent history, refined grains have replaced whole grains in the human diet. However, refined grains have fewer phytochemicals and more starches than whole grain. In addition, studies have shown that inclusion of whole grains in a daily diet results in decreased risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Therefore, there is now a rising demand for ancient whole grains and pseudocereals as more becomes known about their nutritional benefits, such as the reduced risk of celiac disease after their integration into gluten-free food. In order for the benefits of these grains to be utilized, the chemical makeup, health benefits, and modern diet roles of ancient grains, sorghum and teff, and pseudocereals, amaranth and quinoa, are detailed in this literature review.