Bioactive Compounds and Antioxidant Capacity in Pearling Fractions of Hulled, Partially Hull-Less and Hull-Less Food Barley Genotypes
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Three food barley genotypes differing in the presence or absence of husks were sequentially pearled and their fractions analyzed for ash, proteins, bioactive compounds and antioxidant capacity in order to identify potential functional food ingredients. Husks were high in ash, arabinoxylans, procyanidin B3, prodelphinidin B4 and p-coumaric, ferulic and diferulic bound acids, resulting in a high antioxidant capacity. The outermost layers provided a similar content of those bioactive compounds and antioxidant capacity that were high in husks, and also an elevated content of tocols, representing the most valuable source of bioactive compounds. Intermediate layers provided high protein content, β-glucans, tocopherols and such phenolic compounds as catechins and bound hydroxybenzoic acid. The endosperm had very high β-glucan content and relative high levels of catechins and hydroxybenzoic acid. Based on the spatial distribution of the bioactive compounds, the outermost 30% pearling fractions seem the best option to exploit the antioxidant capacity of barley to the full, whereas pearled grains supply β-glucans enriched flours. Current regulations require elimination of inedible husks from human foods. However, due to their high content in bioactive compounds and antioxidant capacity, they should be considered as a valuable material, at least for animal feeds.