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Proceedings Paper

Microstructure and nutrient distribution in oats: influence on quality
Author(s): S. Shea Miller; Judith Frégeau-Reid
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Paper Abstract

Oats have long been recognized as having superior quality among cereals with respect to protein and lipid composition as well as soluble dietary fibre (β-glucan). The microstructure and chemistry of oats influence oat quality, and thus are determinants of the end products derived from oats. Light and scanning electron microscopies have been used to elucidate microstructure and nutrient distribution in oats. The influence of variation in these parameters on oat quality can be demonstrated, from milling through to oat products for consumption. Milling quality is determined in part by hull architecture. SEM examination of oat hulls can help predict ease of dehulling, which affects the efficiency and economics of oat milling. In addition to protein and lipid, β-glucan is an important nutritional component of oats. Fluorescence microscopy can reveal both the relative amount and distribution of β-glucan in oat kernels. Consumption of oats or oat products containing β-glucan has been shown to have beneficial effects on carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. These health benefits have generated a demand for new and palatable ways to incorporate oats into the diet as consumer demand increases. To help meet this need, we have been investigating the use of micronized naked oats as a whole grain to be cooked and consumed as a rice alternative. Different varieties of naked oats had dramatically different acceptance levels from a sensory panel. SEM of the pericarp, light microscopy of the endosperm, and analyses of starch properties of the different varieties revealed differences that corresponded with sensory data.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 May 2009
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7378, Scanning Microscopy 2009, 73781K (22 May 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.821659
Show Author Affiliations
S. Shea Miller, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (Canada)
Judith Frégeau-Reid, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (Canada)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7378:
Scanning Microscopy 2009
Michael T. Postek; Michael T. Postek; Michael T. Postek; Dale E. Newbury; Dale E. Newbury; Dale E. Newbury; S. Frank Platek; S. Frank Platek; S. Frank Platek; David C. Joy; David C. Joy; David C. Joy, Editor(s)

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