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J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Jun 15;53(12):5036-40.

Literature data may underestimate the actual antioxidant capacity of cereals.

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Department of Metabolism and Nutrition, Instituto del Frío, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), c/José Antonio Novais, 10, Ciudad Universitaria, Madrid, 28040 Spain.


Several recent articles have reported a significant antioxidant capacity of cereal products, determined in methanolic and ethanolic extracts. The aim of this work was to conduct an assessment of the antioxidant capacity of cereals using both chemical and in vitro digestive enzymatic extraction of antioxidants. Ferric reducing power (FRAP) and free radical scavenging capacity (DPPH) methods were used to determine the antioxidant capacity in wheat flour, bread, raw and boiled rice, wheat bran, and oat bran. The most efficient antioxidant extraction was achieved by using successively acidic methanol/water (50:50 v/v, pH 2) and acetone/water (70:30 v/v). The antioxidant capacity in these extracts ranged from 1.1 to 4.4 micromol Trolox/g dw. A significant amount of hydrolyzable phenolics with a high antioxidant capacity (from 5 to 108 micromol Trolox/g dw) was found in the residues of this aqueous-organic extraction. The antioxidant capacities of these nonextractable polyphenols are usually ignored in the literature, although they may have an antioxidant role in the gastrointestinal tract, especially after colonic fermentation, and may be fermentated to active metabolites. On the other hand, in vitro digestive enzymatic extracts obtained by enzymatic treatments that mimic conditions in the gastrointestinal tract showed that the amount of antioxidants released by the cereal matrix into the human intestine may be higher than the one that can be expected from measurements in the usual aqueous-organic extracts.

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