Functional Oat Ingredients—Opportunities and Challenges for Food Technology
P. Lehtinen (1), A. Kaukovirta-Norja (1), J. Sibakov (1), O. Myllymäki (1), K. Poutanen (1), and J.-M. Pihlava (2). (1) VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, VTT, Finland; (2) MTT Agrifood Research Finland, Jokioinen, Finland. Cereal Foods World 54(6):267-271.
Oats are a well-known, health-promoting cereal crop with an annual global production of around 25.8 million tons. However, only a small proportion of the oat harvest is used in food applications, with the majority of the crop used as animal feed. Several physiological responses have been linked to the intake of oat products. Besides the generic benefits from the intake of cereal dietary fiber, the soluble oat fiber, beta-glucan is strongly linked to two specific physiological responses: 1) a small reduction of serum cholesterol levels in people with elevated cholesterol levels; and 2) an attenuation of postprandial glycaemic response. There are several oat beta-glucan ingredient products available commercially. Oat bran is a conventional milling product obtained from dehulled or naked oat groats by removing starch. Technology and processes to generate ingredients higher in beta-glucan content are reviewed below and examples of high-beta-glucan consumer products are presented. In addition, a novel fractionation process based on lipid removal and subsequent dry fractionation is presented.