Enhancement of attributes of cereals by germination and fermentation: a review

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2015;55(11):1575-89. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2012.706661.


The nutritional quality of cereals and the sensorial properties of their products are sometimes inferior as compared to other sources of food which is due to the lower protein content and starch availability, the presence of determined antinutrients (phytic acid, tannins, and polyphenols) and the coarse nature of the grains. To ameliorate the nutritional qualities of cereals, they are processed in a number of ways. This review summarizes the enhancement in the nutritional value as well as the functional characteristics of cereals due to germination and fermentation treatment. The protein concentration increases and the amino acid profile is balanced by germination and fermentation. The antinutritional factors are reduced increasing the mineral availability from the cereals. Germination enhances the quality of nutrients and bioactive compounds of cereals thereby increasing the content in proteins, amino acids, sugars, and vitamins. The functional properties of cereals is enhanced due to generation of biofunctional substances, increase in protein solubility, in vitro protein digestibility and lowering of glycemic index.

Keywords: Germination; cereals; fermentation; functional properties; nutritive value.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / analysis
  • Carbohydrates / analysis
  • Dietary Proteins / analysis
  • Edible Grain / chemistry*
  • Fermentation*
  • Food Handling / methods*
  • Germination*
  • Glycemic Index
  • Nutritive Value*
  • Vitamins / analysis


  • Amino Acids
  • Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Vitamins