Proteins in oats; their synthesis and changes during germination: a review

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2012;52(7):629-39. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2010.504902.


Oats (Avena sativa L.) are distinct among cereals due to their considerably higher protein concentration. At the same time oats possess a protein quality of high nutritional value and a special protein composition. Most cereals like wheat, barley, and rye have a high percentage of prolamins, the alcohol-soluble fraction, which usually contains most of the storage proteins, but oats are an exception. Their major storage proteins belong to the salt-water soluble globulin fraction, whereas oats prolamins are a minor component. During oats groat development, most obvious is the fairly linear increase in the globulin fraction. Oats globulins share structural features with the 11 S globulins of legumes and other dicots. Amino acid composition of oats is superior to that of other cereals due to the higher amount of limiting amino acids like lysine and threonine. During germination, total amino acid analysis revealed an increase in essential amino acids like lysine and tryptophan, which leads to an increased nutritional value of germinated oats. Oats protein products including globulin have been chemically modified by various methods to improve their functional properties.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / analysis
  • Amino Acids / metabolism
  • Avena / growth & development
  • Avena / metabolism*
  • Dietary Proteins / analysis
  • Dietary Proteins / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant*
  • Germination*
  • Protein Biosynthesis*
  • Seed Storage Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Seed Storage Proteins / chemistry
  • Seeds / growth & development
  • Seeds / metabolism*


  • Amino Acids
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Seed Storage Proteins