Effects of germination on nutritional composition of waxy wheat

J Sci Food Agric. 2012 Feb;92(3):667-72. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.4628. Epub 2011 Sep 14.


Background: Germination is considered to improve the nutritive value, antioxidant capacity and functional properties of grains. In this study, changes in the chemical composition, nutritive value and antioxidant capacity of waxy wheat during germination were determined.

Results: Over a 48 h period of germination the protein and free lipid contents of germinated waxy wheat were not significantly different from those of the control, whereas the bound lipid content decreased significantly. An increase in levels of ash and dietary fibre was clearly observed for the 48 h-germinated wheat. The total free amino acid content of the 48 h-germinated wheat was 7881 mg kg⁻¹ flour (dry basis (d.b.)), significantly higher than that of the ungerminated wheat (2207 mg kg⁻¹ flour, d.b.). In particular, γ-aminobutyric acid increased from 84 mg kg⁻¹ flour (d.b.) in the control to 155 mg kg⁻¹ flour (d.b.) in the 48 h-germinated wheat. Germination did not significantly affect the fatty acid composition of both free and bound lipids of waxy wheat, whereas free phenolic compounds increased during germination, resulting in an increase in antioxidant capacity of germinated wheat.

Conclusion: Germinated waxy wheat had a better nutritional composition, such as higher dietary fibre, free amino acid and total phenolic compound contents, than ungerminated waxy wheat. Therefore germinated waxy wheat should be used to improve the nutritional quality of cereal-based products.

Keywords: antioxidant; germination; nutritional composition; waxy wheat.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / biosynthesis
  • Antioxidants / analysis*
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Crops, Agricultural / chemistry
  • Crops, Agricultural / growth & development*
  • Crops, Agricultural / metabolism
  • Dietary Fiber / analysis
  • Dietary Fiber / metabolism
  • Flour / analysis
  • Functional Food / analysis*
  • Germination*
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Nutritive Value
  • Phenols / analysis
  • Phenols / metabolism
  • Seeds / chemistry
  • Seeds / growth & development*
  • Seeds / metabolism
  • Triticum / chemistry
  • Triticum / growth & development*
  • Triticum / metabolism


  • Amino Acids
  • Antioxidants
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Phenols