Journal of Food Science and Technology

, Volume 48, Issue 6, pp 724–729 | Cite as

Effect of germination on the phytase activity, phytate and total phosphorus contents of rice (Oryza sativa), maize (Zea mays), millet (Panicum miliaceum), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) and wheat (Triticum aestivum)

  • Marshall Arebojie AzekeEmail author
  • Samuel Jacob Egielewa
  • Mary Ugunushe Eigbogbo
  • Inegbenose Godwin Ihimire
Original Article


The effect of germination on the level of phytase activity and the contents of phytates and phosphorus of five Nigeria grown cereal grains was studied. The cereals screened were rice (Oryza sativa), maize (Zea mays), millet (Panicum miliaceum), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) and wheat (Triticum aestivum). Phytase activity was high (0.21–0.67 U g-1) in all samples. Phytate content ranged between 5.6 and 6.2 mg g-1 while total phosphorus content ranged between 3.3 and 4.3 mg g-1. During germination, the level of phytase activity increased and reached its maximal value after seven (16-fold), six (5-fold), five (7-fold), seven (3-fold) and eight (6-fold) days of germination for rice, maize, millet, sorghum and wheat respectively. After this initial increase, phytase activity declined slightly (P < 0.05). The increase in phytase activity during germination was accompanied by a significant reduction in phytate (P < 0.05) and a small but significant increase in total phosphorus.


Cereal grains Phytase activity Phytate Phosphorus Germination 



The Return Research Grant/Fellowship awarded for this project by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Bonn, Germany, is gratefully acknowledged.


  1. Al-Numair KS, Ahmed SEB, Al-Assaf AH, Alamri MS (2009) Hydrochloric acid extractable minerals and phytate and polyphenols contents of sprouted faba and white bean cultivars. Food Chem 113:997–1002CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Azeke MA, Fretzdorff B, Buening-Pfaue H, Holzapfel W, Betsche Th (2005) Nutritional value of African yambean (Sphenostylis stenocarpa, L): improvement by lactic acid fermentation. J Sci Food Agric 85:963–970CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barrier-Guillot B, Casado P, Maupetit P, Jondreville C, Gate C (1996) Wheat phosphorus availability: 1-in vitro study, factors affecting endogenous phytasic activity and phytic phosphorus content. J Sci Food Agric 70:62–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Baruah K, Sahu NP, Pal AK, Jain KK, Debnath D, Yengkokpam S (2007) Interactions of dietary microbial phytase, citric acid and crude protein level on mineral utilization by Rohu, Labeo rohita (Hamilton), Juveniles. J World Aquacult Soc 38:238–249CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cossa J, Oloffs K, Kluge H, Drauschke W, Jeroch H (2000) Variabilities of total and phytate phosphorus contents as well as phytase activity in wheat. Tropenlandwirt 101:119–126Google Scholar
  6. Debnath D, Sahu NP, Pal AK, Baruah K, Yengkokpam S, Mukherjee SC (2005) Present scenario and future prospects of phytase in aqua feed—review. Asian-Austral J Anim Sci 18:1800–1812Google Scholar
  7. Duff SMG, Sarath G, Plaxton WC (1994) The role of acid phosphatases in plant phosphorus metabolism. Physiol Plant 90:791–800CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Egli I, Davidsson L, Juillerat MA, Barclay D, Hurrell RF (2002) The influence of soaking and germination on the phytase activity and phytic acid content of grains and seeds potentially useful for complementary feeding. J Food Sci 67:3484–3488CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Greiner R (2002) Purification and characterization of three phytases from germinated lupine seeds (Lupinus albus Var. Amiga). J Agric Food Chem 50:6858–6864CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Greiner R, Egli I (2003) Determination of the activity of acidic phytate-degrading enzymes in cereal seeds. J Agric Food Chem 51:847–850CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hahm T, Park S, Lo YM (2009) Effects of germination on chemical composition and functional ooproperties of sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) seeds. Biores Technol 100:1643–1647CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Harrison AF, Dighton J (1991) Determination of phosphorus status of wheat and barley crops using a rapid root bioassay. J Sci Food Agric 51:171–177CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hatten LF, Ingram DR, Pittman ST (2001) Effect of phytase on production parameters and nutrient availability in broilers and laying hens: a review. J Appl Poult Res 10:274–278Google Scholar
  14. Heinonen JK, Lahti RJ (1981) A new and convenient colorimetric determination of inorganic orthophosphate and its application to the assay of inorganic phosphatase. Anal Biochem 113:313–317CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Holm PB, Kristiansen KN, Pedersen HB (2002) Transgenic approaches in commonly consumed cereals to improve iron and zinc content and bioavailability. J Nutrition 132:514S–516SGoogle Scholar
  16. Houde RL, Alli I, Kermasha S (1990) Purification and characterisation of canola seed (Brassica sp.) phytase. J Food Biochem 114:331–351CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Jacobs BM (1999) The chemical analysis of food and food products. CBS, New Delhi, pp 751–754Google Scholar
  18. Katina K, Arendt E, Liukkonen KH, Autio K, Flander L, Poutanen K (2005) Potential of sourdough for healthier cereal products. Trends Food Sci Technol 16:104–112CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Khattak AB, Zeb A, Bibi N, Khalil SA, Khattak MS (2007) Influence of germination techniques on phytic acid and polyphenols content of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) sprouts. Food Chem 104:1074–1079CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kikunaga S, Katoh Y, Takahashi M (1991) Biochemical changes in phosphorus compounds and in the activity of phytase and a-amylase in the rice (Oryza sativa) grain during germination. J Sci Food Agric 56:335–343CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Konietzny U, Greiner R (2002) Molecular and catalytic properties of phytate degrading enzymes (phytases). Int J Food Sci Technol 37:791–812CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Konietzny U, Greiner R, Jany K-D (1995) Purification and characterization of a phytase from spelt. J Food Biochem 18:165–183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kumar V, Sinha AK, Makkar HPS, Becker K (2010) Dietary roles of phytate and phytase in human nutrition: a review. Food Chem 120:945–959CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Larsson O, Barker CJ, Sjoholm A, Carlqvist H, Michell RH, Bertorello A (1997) Inhibition of phosphatases and increased Ca2+ channel activity by inositol hexaphosphate. Sci 278:471–474CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Nour AAM, Ahmed IAM, Babiker EE, Yagou AEA (2010) Investigations on winter season Sudanese sorghum cultivars: effect of sprouting on the nutritional value. Int J Food Sci Technol 45:884–890Google Scholar
  26. Prazeres JN, Ferreira CV, Aoyama H (2004) Acid phosphatase activities during the germination of Glycine max seeds. Plant Physiol Biochem 42:15–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Reddy NR (2002) Occurrence, distribution, content, and dietary intake of phytate. In: Reddy NR, Sathe SK (eds) Food phytates. CRC, Boca Raton, pp 25–51Google Scholar
  28. Sathe SK, Reddy NR (2002) Introduction. In: Reddy NR, Sathe SK (eds) Food phytates. CRC, Boca Raton, pp 1–5Google Scholar
  29. Senna R, Simonina V, Silva-Neto MAC, Fialho E (2006) Induction of acid phosphatase activity during germination of maize (Zea mays) seeds. Plant Physiol Biochem 44:467–473CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Sharpley A (1999) Agricultural phosphorus, water quality and poultry production: are they compatible? Poult Sci 78:660–673Google Scholar
  31. Steiner T, Mosenthin R, Zimmermann B, Greiner R, Roth S (2007) Distribution of phytase activity, total phosphorus and phytate phosphorus in legume seeds, cereals and cereal by-products as influenced by harvest year and cultivar. Anim Feed Sci Technol 133:320–334CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Sung HG, Shin HT, Ha JK, Lai H-L, Cheng K-J, Lee JH (2005) Effect of germination temperature on characteristics of phytase production from barley. Biores Technol 96:1297–1303CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Wheeler EL, Ferrel RE (1971) A method for the determination of phytic acid in wheat and wheat fractions. Cereal Chem 48:313–320Google Scholar
  34. Wu P, Tian J-C, Walker CE, Wang F-C (2009) Determination of phytic acid in cereals—a brief review. Int J Food Sci Technol 44:1671–1676CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Association of Food Scientists & Technologists (India) 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marshall Arebojie Azeke
    • 1
    Email author
  • Samuel Jacob Egielewa
    • 1
  • Mary Ugunushe Eigbogbo
    • 1
  • Inegbenose Godwin Ihimire
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryAmbrose Alli UniversityEkpomaNigeria

Personalised recommendations