Physical, microscopic and chemical characterisation of industrial rye and wheat brans from the Nordic countries

Afaf Kamal-Eldin, Helle Nygaard Lærke, Knud Erik Bach Knudsen, Anna Maija Lampi, Vieno Piironen, Herman Adlercreutz, Kati Katina, Kaisa Poutanen, Per Åman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Epidemiological studies show inverse relationship between intake of wholegrain cereals and several chronic diseases. Components and mechanisms behind possible protective effects of wholegrain cereals are poorly understood. Objective: To characterise commercial rye bran preparations, compared to wheat bran, regarding structure and content of nutrients as well as a number of presumably bioactive compounds. Design: Six different rye brans from Sweden, Denmark and Finland were analysed and compared with two wheat brans regarding colour, particle size distribution, microscopic structures and chemical composition including proximal components, vitamins, minerals and bioactive compounds. Results: Rye brans were generally greener in colour and smaller in particle size than wheat brans. The rye brans varied considerably in their starch content (13.2-28.3%), which reflected variable inclusion of the starchy endosperm. Although rye and wheat brans contained comparable levels of total dietary fibre, they differed in the relative proportions of fibre components (i.e. arabinoxylan, β-glucan, cellulose, fructan and Klason lignin). Generally, rye brans contained less cellulose and more β-glucan and fructan than wheat brans. Within small variations, the rye and wheat brans were comparable regarding the contents of tocopherols/tocotrienols, total folate, sterols/stanols, phenolic acids and lignans. Rye bran had less glycine betaine and more alkylresorcinols than wheat brans. Conclusions: The observed variation in the chemical composition of industrially produced rye brans calls for the need of standardisation of this commodity, especially when used as a functional ingredient in foods.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFood and Nutrition Research
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Bioactive components
  • Microscopy
  • Physical properties
  • Proximate composition
  • Rye bran
  • Vitamins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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