, Volume 39, Issue 3, pp 267-278

Compositional and digestibility changes in sprouted barley and canola seeds

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Barley and canola seeds were sprouted over a 5 day period, in laboratory conditions under room temperature (22°C) and room lighting. Following initial hydration, seeds were kept moist by wetting the germination trays at 9 a.m., 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. daily. A parallel germination experiment using 200 g quantities of seeds in petri dishes was conducted. Starting from the second day of germination, and every day, dishes of germinating seeds were removed, oven-dried, weighed and milled for proximate and chemical analysis. Seeds from the main germination experiment were fed in a digestibility trial to Wistar rats. Results indicated that sprouting was associated with depletion of many nutrients in both barley and canola, the major losses being in respect of dry matter, gross energy and triglycerides. In barley (but not in canola) sprouting was associated with significant increases in crude fiber and diglyceride content. In canola, there were significant losses in lipid content and increases in phytosterol and phospholipid content. Digestibility data showed an enhancement in digestibility of nutrients in barley but not in canola, implying that sprouting improved nutritional quality of barley but not canola.