Sprouted Grains: A Comprehensive Review

Nutrients. 2019 Feb 17;11(2):421. doi: 10.3390/nu11020421.


In the last decade, there has been an increase in the use of sprouted grains in human diet and a parallel increase in the scientific literature dealing with their nutritional traits and phytochemical contents. This review examines the physiological and biochemical changes during the germination process, and the effects on final sprout composition in terms of macro- and micro-nutrients and bioactive compounds. The main factors affecting sprout composition are taken into consideration: genotype, environmental conditions experimented by the mother plant, germination conditions. In particular, the review deepens the recent knowledge on the possible elicitation factors useful for increasing the phytochemical contents. Microbiological risks and post-harvest technologies are also evaluated, and a brief summary is given of some important in vivo studies matching with the use of grain sprouts in the diet. All the species belonging to Poaceae (Gramineae) family as well as pseudocereals species are included.

Keywords: elicitation; germination; health; microbiological safety; phytochemical; sprout; whole grain.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Edible Grain*
  • Germination
  • Humans
  • Phytochemicals / analysis*


  • Phytochemicals