The steep water is generally aerated in industrial barley malting. However, it is questionable whether oxygen actually reaches the embryo, which remains entrapped under the husk, testa, and pericarp until chitting occurs. The aim of our study was to investigate whether barley embryos experience oxygen deficiency during steeping, and whether various steeping conditions affect the oxygen deficiency. Alcohol dehydrogenase Adh2 was induced in all steeping conditions studied. Therefore, oxygen deficiency occurred regardless of the steeping conditions. However, steeping conditions affected the rate of recovery from oxygen deficiency, germination rate, and onset of α-amylase production. When barley was subjected to oxygen deficiency by applying N2 gas during steeping, the timing of the treatment determined its effects. The importance of aeration increased as the process proceeded. Oxygen deprivation at the beginning of the process had little effect on malt quality. Therefore, the timing of aeration is important in the optimization of germination during the steeping stage of malting.
- Hordeum vulgare
- oxygen deficiency
- alcohol dehydrogenase
- ethanol detection
Wilhelmson, A., Laitila, A., Vilpola, A., Olkku, J., Kotaviita, E., Fagerstedt, K., & Home, S. (2006). Oxygen deficiency in barley (Hordeum vulgare) grain during malting. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 54(2), 409-416. https://doi.org/10.1021/jf0521505