The possible use of specific biochemical compounds identified in wheat grains was evaluated for monitoring barley grain tissues during fractionation. First barley grain anatomy was studied through microscopic observation and quantification of the relative proportion of each anatomical part in four distinct barley samples from both hulled and hulless genotypes. As expected from cereal phylogeny and irrespective of the possible presence of hull, common features were observed between barley and wheat grains, but the aleurone layer predominated in the outer layers. The specific location of the compounds identified in wheat was established. Phytic acid was specifically localized in the aleurone layer and alkylresorcinols in the composite layer containing the testa, even if their concentration differed from that observed in wheat grain tissues. Thus, these two markers identified in wheat can be used to monitor the corresponding barley tissues, independent of the presence of hulls. Conversely, phenolic compounds, either ferulic acid trimer or p-coumaric acid, cannot be used to monitor respectively the outer pericarp or the aleurone cell walls in barley grains. p-coumaric acid was identified as an efficient marker of the hull and could be used to distinguish hulled or hulless barley grains and to help monitor the dehulling process.
- cereal kernel