Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society

, Volume 56, Issue 8, pp 736–741

Oilseed phytates: Nutritional implications

  • J. W. Erdman
Symposium Minor Constituents in Oilseed Protein Products


The protein quantity and quality, caloric value, and overall nutrient content of oilseeds are quite good. However, oilseeds are high in phytic acid and contain fiber and perhaps other binding agents which reduce mineral bioavailability from the seeds. Phytic acid, the hexaphosphate of myoinositol, functions as the chief storage form of phosphate and inositol in mature seeds. On a dry basis, whole oilseeds contain about 1.5% while some oilseed protein concentrates can contain over 7.0% of the compound. Phytic acid is a strong chelating agent that can bind mono- and divalent metal ions to form the complex phytate. Published results from numerous animal feeding trials suggest poor bioavailability of minerals such as zinc, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and possibly iron from diets containing high phytate foods. Recent studies involving the feeding of soy products to rats suggest that zinc is the mineral of most concern as its bioavailability from some soy products is quite low. Prediction of mineral bioavailability from phytate-containing foods is complicated by the complex interactions between the minerals and phytic acid contained in the foods, intestinal and the meal phytase activities, previous food processing conditions (especially pH), digestibility of the foods as well as the physiological status of the consumer of the foods. Very little is known about the chemistry of such interactions. Therefore, most of the emphasis in controlling or reducing mineral binding in oilseed products has been placed upon development of methodology for phytate removal.


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Copyright information

© American Oil Chemists’ Society 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. W. Erdman
    • 1
  1. 1.567 Bevier Hall, Department of Food ScienceUniversity of IllinoisUrbana

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