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Effect of Ultrasonic and Hydrothermal Treatment on Digestibility and Antioxidant Properties of Whole Wheat Flour with Different Amylose Content§

Valentina Nikolić1*orcid tiny, Slađana Žilić1orcid tiny, Marijana Simić1orcid tiny, Vesna Kandić1orcid tiny and Primož Titan2orcid tiny

1Maize Research Institute Zemun Polje, Slobodana Bajića 1, 11185 Belgrade-Zemun, Serbia

2Research Genetics and Agrochemistry Ltd., Krog, Brodarska 27, 9000 Murska Sobota, Slovenia

Article history:

Received: 29 November 2022

Accepted: 6 July 2023

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whole wheat flour; ultrasonic treatment; hydrothermal treatment; in vitro digestibility; phenolic compounds; antioxidant capacity


Research background. The consumption of whole grain cereal flour contributes to increased intake of dietary fibre and phenolic compounds beneficial to human health. However, whole grain flour also has some disadvantages, such as poor baking properties and lower technological quality. Applying ultrasonic and hydrothermal treatments can provide new opportunities to modify and improve the baking and biofunctionality of flour as well as the quality of baked goods.

Experimental approach. The whole grain flour samples of six wheat varieties with different amylose content were studied. The original chemical composition and viscosity profiles of the flour were determined. The flour samples were subjected to ultrasonic treatment at a frequency of 30 kHz and temperature of 40 °C for 10 min and hydrothermal treatment on a magnetic stirrer with heating for 3 min after reaching the boiling point. The treatments were carried out to determine their influence on the studied digestible and antioxidant properties of the flour. A multistep in vitro enzymatic digestibility protocol simulating the digestion process in the human gastrointestinal tract was applied to the untreated and treated whole grain flour samples. Total free phenolic compound content and total antioxidant capacity were also determined.

Results and conclusions. Hydrothermal treatment had a positive effect on the digestibility of the whole grain flour, especially in waxy wheat genotypes compared to those with high amylose content, due to the formation of resistant starch. The hydrothermal treatment had an overall negative effect on the antioxidant capacity of the flour samples, while ultrasonic treatment generally increased the analytical values of total free phenolic compounds by enhancing their extractability. These findings can provide valuable information for the development of new whole wheat foods.

Novelty and scientific contribution. To the best of our knowledge, this type of study of the effects of ultrasound and hydrothermal treatment on the digestibility and antioxidant properties has not yet been performed on whole wheat flour with different amylose content. Waxy and high-amylose wheat varieties are considered novel raw materials because of their unique properties in bread making, such as improved bread texture and increased dietary fibre content.

*Corresponding author: +381648406448
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§Paper was presented at the 11th Central European Congress on Food and Nutrition CEFood2022, Čatež ob Savi, Slovenia, 27-30 September 2022