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Concept: Oat


Starch grain, phytolith and cereal bran fragments were analyzed in order to identify the food remains including cakes, dumplings, as well as porridge unearthed at the Astana Cemeteries in Turpan of Xinjiang, China. The results suggest that the cakes were made from Triticum aestivum while the dumplings were made from Triticum aestivum, along with Setaria italica. The ingredients of the porridge remains emanated from Panicum miliaceum. Moreover, direct macrobotantical evidence of the utilization of six cereal crops, such as Triticum aestivum, Hordeum vulgare var. coeleste, Panicum miliaceum, Setaria italica, Cannabis sativa, and Oryza sativa in the Turpan region during the Jin and Tang dynasties (about 3(rd) to 9(th) centuries) is also presented. All of these cereal crops not only provided food for the survival of the indigenous people, but also spiced up their daily life.

Concepts: Wheat, Poaceae, Cereal, Maize, Rice, Oat, Barley, Staple food


This study investigated whether increasing insoluble (predominantly wheat bran) fibre over 14 days improves subjective digestive feelings, general wellbeing and bowel function. A single centre, multi-site, open, within subjects design with a 14 day non-intervention (baseline) monitoring period followed by a 14 day fibre consumption (intervention) period was performed. 153 low fibre consumers (<15 g/day AOAC 985.29) completed a daily symptom diary for 14 days after which they consumed one bowl of ready-to-eat breakfast cereal containing at least 5.4 g fibre (3.5 g from wheat bran) for 14 days and completed a daily symptom diary. Significant improvements were demonstrated in subjective perception of bowel function (e.g., ease of defecation) and digestive feelings (bloating, constipation, feeling sluggish and digestive discomfort). Significant improvements were also found in subjective perception of general wellbeing (feeling less fat, more mentally alert, slim, happy and energetic whilst experiencing less stress, mental and physical tiredness, difficulty concentrating and fewer headaches). In general, improvements in study outcomes increased with increasing cereal/fibre consumption. However, consuming an additional minimum 5.4 g of fibre (3.5 g wheat bran) per day was shown to deliver measurable and significant benefits for digestive health, comfort and wellbeing. Encouraging consumption of relatively small amounts of wheat bran could also provide an effective method of increasing overall fibre consumption.

Concepts: Wheat, Maize, Rice, Oat, Bran, Breakfast, Porridge, Breakfast cereal


The domestication and transmission of cereals is one of the most fundamental components of early farming, but direct evidence of their use in early culinary practices and economies has remained frustratingly elusive. Using analysis of a well-preserved Early Bronze Age wooden container from Switzerland, we propose novel criteria for the identification of cereal residues. Using gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS), we identified compounds typically associated with plant products, including a series of phenolic lipids (alkylresorcinols) found only at appreciable concentration in wheat and rye bran. The value of these lipids as cereal grain biomarkers were independently corroborated by the presence of macrobotanical remains embedded in the deposit, and wheat and rye endosperm peptides extracted from residue. These findings demonstrate the utility of a lipid-based biomarker for wheat and rye bran and offer a methodological template for future investigations of wider range of archaeological contexts. Alkylresorcinols provide a new tool for residue analysis which can help explore the spread and exploitation of cereal grains, a fundamental component of the advent and spread of farming.

Concepts: Wheat, Poaceae, Cereal, Maize, Rye, Rice, Oat, Cereals


The Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici (Pgt) Ug99 race group is virulent to most stem rust resistance genes currently deployed in wheat and poses a threat to global wheat production. The durum wheat (Triticum turgidum ssp. durum) gene Sr13 confers resistance to Ug99 and other virulent races, and is more effective at high temperatures. Using map-based cloning, we delimited a candidate region including two linked genes encoding coiled-coil nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat proteins designated CNL3 and CNL13. Three independent truncation mutations identified in each of these genes demonstrated that only CNL13 was required for Ug99 resistance. Transformation of an 8-kb genomic sequence including CNL13 into the susceptible wheat variety Fielder was sufficient to confer resistance to Ug99, confirming that CNL13 is Sr13CNL13 transcripts were slightly down-regulated 2-6 days after Pgt inoculation and were not affected by temperature. By contrast, six pathogenesis-related (PR) genes were up-regulated at high temperatures only when both Sr13 and Pgt were present, suggesting that they may contribute to the high temperature resistance mechanism. We identified three Sr13-resistant haplotypes, which were present in one-third of cultivated emmer and durum wheats but absent in most tested common wheats (Triticum aestivum). These results suggest that Sr13 can be used to improve Ug99 resistance in a large proportion of modern wheat cultivars. To accelerate its deployment, we developed a diagnostic marker for Sr13 The identification of Sr13 expands the number of Pgt-resistance genes that can be incorporated into multigene transgenic cassettes to control this devastating disease.

Concepts: Gene, Genetics, Wheat, Spelt, Durum, Oat, Triticeae, Stem rust


Health claims regarding the cholesterol-lowering effect of soluble fiber from oat products, approved by food standards agencies worldwide, are based on a diet containing ≥3 g/d of oat β-glucan (OBG). Given the number of recently published randomized controlled trials (RCTs), it is important to update the findings of previous meta-analyses.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Nutrition, Evidence-based medicine, Systematic review, Randomized controlled trial, Effectiveness, Meta-analysis, Oat


A feeding trial was conducted to know the level of concentrates in the diet of Antelope cervicapra at which diet digestibility and mineral utilization were optimum. Fifteen blackbucks (25-33 kg BW) were distributed into three groups of five each. Fresh oat (Avena sativa) and berseem (Trifolium alexandrinum) fodders were offered ad libitum to all the animals. In addition, animals in groups II and III received concentrate mixture at the rate of 0.5 and 1% of BW, whereas animals in group I received no concentrates. As the level of concentrates increased, consumption of fodder decreased resulting in decreased consumption of neutral detergent fibre (NDFom), acid detergent fibre (ADFom), hemicellulose and cellulose. However, overall total dry matter (DM) and organic matter (OM) intake was not significantly different between the groups. Digestibility of DM, OM and gross energy (GE) increased while that of NDFom and ADFom decreased with increased level of concentrates in the diet. Intake of P, Zn, Cu and Mn increased with increased level of concentrate supplementation; however, consumption of Ca and Fe followed the reverse trend. Absorption of P and Zn increased with increased level of concentrate supplementation. Serum concentration of Zn increased when concentrate was supplemented at the rate of 0.5% BW beyond which there was no further improvement. Increasing the level of concentrates in the diet was resulted in increased serum glucose and cholesterol levels. Forage-only diet was inadequate in supply of energy, P and zinc. Supplementation of concentrates at the rate of 0.5% BW was able to meet the requirement of these nutrients. Supplementation at the rate of 1% BW supplied energy and P in excess of requirement. It was concluded that the feeding of concentrates to the captive blackbuck fed forage-based diets should be restricted to 0.5% of BW.

Concepts: Metabolism, Nutrition, Cellulose, Oat, Fodder, Antelope, Avena, Blackbuck


The aim of the present review article is to summarize the available information related to the availability, production, chemical composition, pharmacological activity, and traditional uses of Avena sativa to highlight its potential to contribute to human health. Oats are now cultivated worldwide and form an important dietary staple for the people in number of countries. Several varieties of oats are available. It is a rich source of protein, contains a number of important minerals, lipids, β-glucan, a mixed-linkage polysaccharide, which forms an important part of oat dietary fiber, and also contains various other phytoconstituents like avenanthramides, an indole alkaloid-gramine, flavonoids, flavonolignans, triterpenoid saponins, sterols, and tocols. Traditionally oats have been in use since long and are considered as stimulant, antispasmodic, antitumor, diuretic, and neurotonic. Oat possesses different pharmacological activities like antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, wound healing, immunomodulatory, antidiabetic, anticholesterolaemic, etc. A wide spectrum of biological activities indicates that oat is a potential therapeutic agent.

Concepts: Nutrition, Oat, Rolled oats, Avena


BACKGROUND: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in China and worldwide. Whole grain oats can reduce risk of CVD by reducing total and LDL-cholesterol, major risk factors for CVD. While this association has been established in many populations, data from Asian populations is limited. Thus, this study investigated the impact of oat consumption on cholesterol levels in Chinese adults. Male and female data from this work were previously published separately in Mandarin in two Chinese journals. The combined male and female data were reanalyzed and are presented here. METHODS: A randomized, controlled, parallel-arm study was conducted at Beijing Hospital, Beijing China. Subjects were adults (men and women) with mild to moderate hypercholesterolemia. The oat group (n=85) consumed 100 grams of instant oat cereal versus the control group (n=81) who consumed 100 grams of wheat flour-based noodles daily for 6 weeks. Laboratory and anthropometric measurements were conducted at baseline and at the end of the 6-week intervention. RESULTS: Dietary fiber intake increased significantly in the oat group compared to the control group at the end of the 6-week intervention. Total-, LDL-cholesterol and waist circumference decreased significantly in the oat group compared to the control. HDL-cholesterol decreased significantly in the control group versus the oat group. There were no significant changes in blood pressure, other anthropometric or laboratory measures between the two groups at the end of the intervention. CONCLUSIONS: Instant oatmeal consumed daily for 6 weeks significantly increased fiber intake and decreased major risk factors for CVD in Chinese adults with hypercholesterolemia. Increased consumption of whole grains, including oats, should continue to be encouraged.

Concepts: Atherosclerosis, Wheat, Cereal, Oat, Whole grain, Porridge, Rolled oats, Oatmeal


Fusarium infections do not only affect the grain, but also the rest of the plant, which result in contamination of plants with the mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON). The bioavailability of DON may be influenced by the matrix due to the differences in nutrient composition between grain and straw, particularly the high fibre component in straw. The experiment was carried out by exposing 18 male castrated pigs (30-40 kg live weight) with a single dose of DON from wheat grain, straw and chaff in the diet. The courses of DON serum concentrations were evaluated using toxicokinetic methods. The absorption of DON was not influenced by the source of DON. The invasion half-life of DON from grain, straw and chaff amounted to 0.76, 0.77 and 0.48 h, respectively, and were not significantly different. The elimination of DON was also not affected by the DON source. The bioavailability of DON, calculated by the dose corrected area under the curve of the serum-DON-concentrations, amounted to 81.9, 87.3 and 109.8% for straw, grain and chaff, respectively, without significant differences. Thus, the uptake of DON from straw may contribute comparably to the overall exposure of animals.

Concepts: Plant, Nutrient, Wheat, Annual plant, Pharmacokinetics, Rice, Oat, Chaff


Statistical approaches were employed for the optimisation of the extraction of amylolytic activity from oat (Avena sativa) seeds. The application of the response surface methodology allows us to determine a set of optimal conditions (ratio seed weight/buffer volume 0.1, germination days 10 days, temperature 20°C and pH 5.6). Experiments carried out under these conditions led to amylase production yield of 91U/g. Its maximal activity was in the pH 5.6 and at 55°C. Study of the incorporation of the optimised oat extract into the bread formulation revealed an improvement of the sensory quality and the textural properties of fresh and stored bread. Three-dimensional elaborations of Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy (CLSM) images were performed on crumb of the different breads to evaluate the influence of amylase activity on microstructure. The result showed improved baking characteristics as well as overall microscopic and macroscopic appearance.

Concepts: Wheat, Starch, Operations research, Seed, Bread, Oat, Avena, Bread improver