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03 Issues & Trends
Cereal Foods World, Vol. 63, No. 5
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1094/CFW-63-5-0217
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Purple and Blue Wheat—Health-Promoting Grains with Increased Antioxidant Activity
Heinrich Grausgruber,1,2 Klaus Atzgersdorfer,1,3 and Stefan Böhmdorfer4

1 Department of Crop Sciences, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Konrad Lorenz Str 24, 3430 Tulln an der Donau, Austria.
2 Corresponding author. Tel: +43 1 47654 957 11; E-mail: heinrich.grausgruber@boku.ac.at
3 Present address: Saatbau Linz, Maiszuchtstation Schönering, Angerweg 19, 4073 Wilhering, Austria.
4 Department of Chemistry, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Konrad Lorenz Str 24, 3430 Tulln an der Donau, Austria.


Anthocyanins are flavonoid pigments that are responsible for red, purple, and blue colors in diverse organs in a wide array of plants. Anthocyanins also act as antioxidants, for example by scavenging free radicals. In wheat, anthocyanins can be present in the pericarp (purple anthocyanins) or aleurone (blue anthocyanins) layer of the grain. Purple and blue wheat grains, therefore, can be processed into innovative whole wheat (wholemeal) products that are rich in both dietary fiber and antioxidants. Combining the genetic components that produce purple pericarp and blue aleurone traits significantly increases the total concentration of anthocyanins and, as a result, the total antioxidant activity.

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