Scientists have used novel combination of enzymes to extract β-Glucan from Barley bran. β-Glucan is a valuable dietary fiber which could enhance the quality and nutritional value of food products.
Importance of fiber-rich diet
Diabetes and obesity are among major worldwide health problems. Consuming a diet with low amounts of dietary fiber is a contributing factor to these health issues. Nowadays there is a trend toward consuming more nutritious and low calorie foods. Fiber-rich foods are an essential part of a healthy diet. These foods have the potential to reduce the adverse side effects of chronic illnesses namely high blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Barley is one of the most consumed agricultural products on the planet and at the same time it is a great source of dietary fiber. Meanwhile in a new study, scientists from Tarbiat Modares University in collaboration with Purdune University, have extracted β-Glucan with various enzymatic extractions. This molecule constitutes a large portion of barley brans fiber.
β-Glucan is mainly utilized in both pharmaceutical and food industries. This natural molecule is used in food products such as cakes, biscuits, pasta and yogurt. They also function as stabilizers in many dietary products. Scientists have used various enzymes including α-amylase, protease, glucoamylase, pullulanase and two types of xylanase to extract β-Glucan from barley. Their aim was to purify this molecule in barley bran. They achieved this by removing starch, protein and arabinoxylan from barley bran. They also investigated the properties of barley bran following extraction procedure. These properties include molecular weight distribution, rheological behavior and compositional factors.
Dr Reza Karimi, the lead researcher of the study says:” Our method enables us to produce β-Glucan with different purity levels. It also helps us to understand how different extraction methods affect molecular weight distribution of barley bran, the ability of β-Glucan concentrate to produce favorable rheologic properties and industrial application of β-Glucan.” He also says:” While chemical extraction methods might decrease or even degrade β-Glucan during extraction process, enzymatic extraction preserves the beneficial parts of barley bran. This method also delivers more stable final products.”
This new research could provide valuable information about the enzymatically extracted β-Glucans. These information could be useful in medical, biotechnological and food industries.