Nutritional improvement of cereals by sprouting

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 1989;28(5):401-37. doi: 10.1080/10408398909527508.


Cereal grains form a major source of dietary nutrients for all people, particularly those in the developing countries. However, the nutritional quality of cereal grains and sensory properties of their products are inferior due to lower protein content, deficiency of certain essential amino acids, lower protein and starch availabilities, presence of certain antinutrients, and the coarse nature of the grains. The consumption of sprouted cereals is becoming popular in various parts of the world. Sprouting of grains for a limited period causes increased activities of hydrolytic enzymes, improvement in the contents of certain essential amino acids, total sugars, and B-group vitamins, and a decrease in dry matter, starch, and antinutrients. The digestibilities of storage proteins and starch are improved due to their partial hydrolysis during sprouting. The magnitude of the nutritional improvement is, however, influenced by the type of cereal, seed quality, sprouting conditions, and it is not large enough to account for in feeding experiments with higher animals. In this review, the available literature concerning the nutritional improvement of cereals by sprouting and utilization of sprouted cereals in traditional and processed foods has been compiled and is critically reviewed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Edible Grain*
  • Food Handling*
  • Humans
  • Nutritive Value*