Phenolic compounds play an important role in health benefits because of their highly antioxidant capacity. In this review, total phenolic contents (TPCs), phenolic acid profile and antioxidant capacity of the extracted from wheat, corn, rice, barley, sorghum, rye, oat, and millet, which have been recently reported, are summarized. The review shows clearly that cereals contain a number of phytochemicals including phenolics, flavonoids, anthocyanins, etc. The phytochemicals of cereals significantly exhibit antioxidant activity as measured by trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC), 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical scavenging, reducing power, oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC), inhibition of oxidation of human low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and DNA, Rancimat, inhibition of photochemilumenescence (PCL), and iron(II) chelation activity. Thus, the consumption of whole grains is considered to have significantly health benefits in prevention from chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer because of the contribution of phenolic compounds existed. In addition, the extracts from cereal brans are considered to be used as a source of natural antioxidants.
Keywords: Phenolic compounds; antioxidant; cereals; reactive oxygen species.