Plant lignans are converted to mammalian forms, enterodiol and enterolactone, in the colon. Enhanced plasma or urinary enterolactone levels have been associated with lowered risk of cardiovascular diseases and breast cancer. Processed rye bran and its fractions were compared to ascertain the fermentation rates of fermentable carbohydrates and the bioconversion of lignans. Rye bran was extruded and treated with a food‐grade xylanase. Part of the xylanase‐treated rye bran was separated into a soluble rye bran extract and an insoluble residue, and a part of the xylanase‐treated rye bran was freeze‐dried without separation. All the samples were digested by pepsin and pancreatin and subsequently fermented with a human faecal inoculum in vitro. The consumption of carbohydrates, the productions of short‐chain fatty acids (SCFA), enterodiol and enterolactone were followed as a function of time. The soluble rye bran extract showed the fastest fermentation rate and the highest extent of fermentation determined as the consumption of neutral sugar residues (arabinose, xylose and glucose), the production of SCFA and the formation of enterodiol and enterolactone. Xylanase treatment enhanced the fermentation rate of extruded rye bran. An even a higher fermentation rate was observed for rye bran extract containing soluble carbohydrates. The amount of enterolactone precursors in rye seemed to be too low for enterolactone formation using an amount of substrate suitable for carbohydrate fermentation. However, xylanase treatment enhanced the availability of plant lignans from rye bran, as enterodiol formation was increased by the use of xylanase.
- rye bran
- in vitro