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Food Structure

Authors

Suk Hing Yiu

Abstract

The nutritional quality of cereal foods is directly related to the nature of nutrient storage in cereal grains. Most cereal nutrients, such as carbohydrates and minerals , are st ructurally bound. Processing alters the structural organization of the cereal grain. Results obtained from many nutritional studies indicate that the structure and physical form of a cereal food greatly influence the availability of its nutrients.

Using oats and wheat as examples, this review demonstrates how microscopy contributes to understanding the relationship between cereal structures and the availability of nutrients in cereal foods. Various forms of food microscopy play important roles in revealing structural changes of cereal foods that result from processing, cooking and enzymatic reactions. These changes directly affect the digestibility of starch, phytate and dietary fiber in oats and wheat. The present review also examines the effects of undigested fiber and phytate on the absorption of minerals in the mammalian gastrointestinal tract. Food Microscopy is a potential tool for studying the mineral binding property of cereal bran components.

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