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The demand for functional foods increases daily due to the possible health benefits of consuming a healthy and balanced diet. Currently, food products prepared from pigmented crops such as wheat, rice, corn, and millets constitute a significant source of interest for health-conscious people. Pigmented grains demonstrate numerous health benefits, including anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-heart disease activity. This book discusses pigmented grain's basic composition and functional components that are responsible for numerous health benefits. This book consists of 15 chapters, which are contributed by experts in their area of research.

The first chapter, contributed by Dangi, Chaudhary, Paul, Sharma, Dutta, and Razdan, focuses on pigmented wheat's nutritional and functional properties. This chapter elaborates on breeding methods, nutritional composition, health benefits, and product formulations from pigmented wheat. Chapter 2 deals with the composition and health benefits of pigmented rice. This chapter highlights the micro- and macronutrient content, various functional properties of flour and starch of pigmented rice, and their applications in various food products. Chapter 3 highlights the various nutritional properties and bioactive profile of pigmented maize, and was contributed by Dudeja, Gupta, Mankoo, and Singh. Many secondary metabolites, including phenolic acids, carotenoids, and flavonoids, contribute to maize pigmentation, with numerous health advantages also discussed in this chapter. Yadav, Guleria, and Kumar authored chapter 4, ‘Pigmented Barley: Photochemical Composition, β-Glucan Content, and Applications.’ This chapter highlights the phytochemical composition, health benefits, and industrial applications of pigmented barley. Various properties and food applications of β-glucan are also discussed in this chapter. Chapter 5 highlights the functional properties and bioactive diversity of the pigmented sorghum. Mehany and his co-workers contributed Chapter 6, which deals with chemistry, functionality, and technological aspects in food systems of pigmented pseudocereals. The nutritional benefits of the main pigmented pseudocereals, such as amaranth, buckwheat, and quinoa, are discussed in this chapter, focusing on their bioactive pigments. This chapter also covers the uses of colored pseudocereals in food applications. Millets exist in various colors, and the color of the kernel is an essential factor in determining market value and nutritional quality. The nutritional profile, carotenoids, anthocyanin content, and biological activity of colored millet are all discussed in Chapter 7. Sobti and her co-workers contributed Chapter 8, and this chapter highlights the comparison of qualities characteristics of pigmented and non-pigmented grains. Pigmented cereals have gained more attention due to their high nutritional value and bioactive compounds, which may provide health benefits.

The different processes for extracting pigments from various grains are addressed in Chapter 9. This chapter explored that cereal pigments can be extracted using traditional solvent-based or modern extraction methods, including ultrasonication, microwave-assisted extraction, and pulsed electric field extraction. Spectroscopic and chromatographic techniques can be used to quantify cereal colors. Chapter 10, ‘Pigmented Cereals: Key Influencing Factors’, is authored by Swain and her co-workers. Jasmeet and co-worker contributed Chapter 11. This chapter highlights the measurement methods and composition of anthocyanin in pigmented cereals. This chapter discusses the quantification and composition of anthocyanin molecules and which have been evaluated using high-performance liquid chromatography and ultra-performance liquid chromatography technologies. Chapter 12 highlights the chemical structures and biological properties of carotenoids. Various aspects of carotenoids, i.e., metabolic pathways, human health, and carotenoids in various cereals grains, are explored in this chapter. The trends for ‘functional foods’ and a healthy diet are growing nowadays, owing to evidence of potential health advantages linked with frequent consumption of these items as part of a balanced and diverse diet. The dietary and health benefits of pigmented cereals are discussed in Chapter 13. Chapter 14 addressed the role of biotechnology in the production of pigmented cereals, and this chapter is contributed by Ishaq, Batool, Chen, Cai, and Asfandyar. Pigmented millet and cereals are considered a unique form of grains due to the relatively highest level of phenols and exhibit more remarkable antioxidant properties. Interest in the product formulations from these pigmented grains is increasing day by day. Chapter 15 will explore applications of pigmented cereals in formulations of various bakery products.

Sneh Punia Bangar

Sajid Maqsood

Anil Kumar Siroha

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