Germination time and conditions for wheat grain were studied to determine optimum conditions that would maximize the production of antioxidants. Wheat grains were first steeped in water for 24 or 48 h, followed by incubation in the dark for 9 d at 98% RH and 16.5 degrees C. The changes in the concentration of vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, ferulic acid and vanillic acid were monitored over the germination period. Vitamins C and E and beta-carotene were barely detectable in the dry grains. However, upon germination the concentrations of these antioxidant vitamins steadily increased with increasing germination time, reaching their peaks after 7 d at 550 mu/g for vitamin C, 10.92 micrograms/g for alpha-tocopherol, and 3.1 micrograms/g for beta-carotene. Concentrations of ferulic and vanillic acids were also increased, reaching their maxima after 7 d at 932.4 micrograms/g and 12.9 micrograms/g, respectively. The grains steeped for 48 h before germination became wet, sticky, yellow-brown color with acidic smell after 7 d. These results suggested that wheat grains steeped for 24 h and germinated for 7 d would produce the most desirable sprouts with respect to antioxidant concentrations and sensory properties.