Pigmented Cereals and Millets: Bioactive Profile and Food Applications
Chapter 12: Pigmented Cereals as a Source of Carotenoids
Published:17 Feb 2023
Special Collection: 2023 ebook collection
D. Trono, 2023. "Pigmented Cereals as a Source of Carotenoids", Pigmented Cereals and Millets: Bioactive Profile and Food Applications, Sneh Punia Bangar, Sajid Maqsood, Anil Kumar Siroha
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Cereals have numerous types of grain colours, such as white, yellow, orange, red, purple, and blue. Pigmented cereals are receiving more interest since they are rich dietary sources of bioactive phytochemicals, such as carotenoids, tocopherols, and phenolic compounds. Carotenoids are abundant in cereal grains that naturally exhibit yellow, orange, and dark orange colours. These compounds have important nutritional and health benefits. Like other plant phytochemicals, all the carotenoids show antioxidant properties in reducing the oxidative stress generated by reactive oxygen species. As oxidative damage to biomolecules is involved in the onset and progression of chronic degenerative diseases, carotenoids can be considered as vital prophylactic strategic molecules. Consistently, data from various epidemiological studies strongly support the observation that adequate carotenoid intake may significantly reduce the risk of several chronic disorders. Moreover, certain carotenoids have the peculiar capacity to act as precursors of vitamin A, which protects from ocular diseases. Therefore, in the light of the important health benefits of carotenoids and the high cereal per capita consumption in the world, the improvement of carotenoid content in pigmented cereal grains and the shifting of consumption from white to yellow, orange, and dark orange grains would be helpful to mitigate vitamin A deficiency in developing countries and reduce the risk of chronic diseases in industrialized countries.