Germination: A means to improve the functionality of oat

Anu Kaukovirta-Norja (Corresponding Author), Annika Wilhelmson, Kaisa Poutanen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

84 Citations (Scopus)


The biochemical and physiological reactions of germination have long been utilised to produce barley malt for brewing and other purposes. Also some oat malt has been produced as raw-material of ale and stout production. The main goals of malting have been the degradation of grain storage components to soften the kernel structure, synthesis of amylolytic enzymes and production of nutrients for brewing yeast. Also flavour and colour attributes have been important. During the recent years interest has arisen also in the secondary metabolites produced during germination, which can have valuable health promoting properties and act as bioactive or functional compounds in foods. By using a tailored germination/malting process a desired combination of valuable properties may be obtained in germinating grains or seeds. All this requires knowledge and know-how of the germination process and the biochemistry behind it. This paper reviews the scientific knowledge about germination/malting of oat with special emphasis on changes in grain characteristics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100 - 112
Number of pages13
JournalAgricultural and Food Science
Publication statusPublished - 2004
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal


  • oat
  • germination
  • processing
  • bioactivity

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