Germination in Optimal Conditions as Effective Strategy to Improve Nutritional and Nutraceutical Value of Underutilized Mexican Blue Maize Seeds
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Germination of grains is a bioprocess of emerging interest to improve nutritional and nutraceutical profile of cereals in a natural way. The aim of this work was to identify optimal germination conditions (temperature/duration) for producing a functional blue maize flour with maximum values of protein content (PC), antioxidant activity (AoxA), and total phenolic and anthocyanin contents (TPC, TAC). A central composite rotatable experimental design (response surface methodology) with two factors [Germination temperature (Gtemp, 20–40 °C) / Germination duration (Gdur, 12–220 h)] in five levels was used (13 treatments). Blue maize seeds were soaked in distilled water (25 °C / 12 h) before germination. The sprouts were dried, tempered (25 °C), and ground to obtain germinated blue maize flours (GBMF). The prediction models developed for each response variable showed high coefficients of determination, demonstrating their adequacy to explain the variations in experimental data. Maximum values of PC, AoxA, TPC, and TAC were attained at Gtemp = 26.9 °C / Gdur = 207.7 h. Optimized germinated blue maize flour (OGBMF) presented higher PC (+38.48%), AoxA (ABTS: +192%, ORAC: +160%, DPPH: +148%), TPC (+79%), and TAC (+9.9%) than unprocessed blue maize flour (UBMF). Germination at optimal conditions is an effective strategy to increase the nutritional/nutraceutical quality of blue maize seeds, thus the flour of these germinated seeds could be used for the development of functional foods.
KeywordsBlue maize seeds Germination Antioxidant activity Phenolics compounds Anthocyanins
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
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