Food Structure


Fluorescence bright field and scanning electron microscopy were used to characterize the structure of selected mature pearl millet caryopses from the World Germplasm Collection. Kernel shape (globose, lanceolate, obovate and hexagonal). kernel endosperm color (while. yellow and grey) and external appearance (color) of the samples were documented for 96 varieties. Color of the pearl millet kernel was due to the combined effects of pigmentation in the pericarp. aleurone and endosperm. as well as the pericarp thickness. White kernels had few pigmented areas. yellow kernels had pigments primarily in the epicarp and endosperm. and brown kernels had pigments in the epicarp. aleurone and endosperm. The majority of white, yellow and brown kernels had a thick pericarp. Purple kernels also had pigments in the epicarp, aleurone and endosperm, but had a thin pericarp. Grey kernels had pigments in the aleurone and endosperm. and had a thin pericarp. The periicarp was different from that found in sorghum in that the epicarp cells could be large, round, multilayered and full of pigments, or flat. single-layered and empty. The seed coat and a leurone layer were similar to those found in sorghum. Phytin and nicotinic acid were present in the germ. B-D-glucans were present in the cell walls in the endosperm.

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