This study is a part of a larger project aiming to produce new, healthy, and tasty food ingredients from oat. Germination and different heating processes can be used to improve the texture and flavour of cereals. In this study effects of germination and wet and dry heating on the microstructure, instrumental structure and sensory properties of two oat varieties were assessed. The microstructure of native, germinated, autoclaved and extruded grains of the hulled cv. Veli and hull-less cv. Lisbeth was examined by light microscopy, the texture was measured by determining the milling energy and hardness of the grains and sensory characteristics were evaluated with descriptive sensory profile analysis. In cv. Veli the cells of the starchy endosperm were smaller than in cv. Lisbeth and beta-glucan was concentrated in the subaleurone layer. In cv. Lisbeth beta-glucan was evenly distributed in the starchy endosperm. The grains of cv. Lisbeth were more extensively modified in the germination process than the grains of cv. Veli, otherwise the effects of processing on the grains of the two cultivars were similar. Germination caused cell wall degradation, autoclaving and extrusion cooking caused starch gelatinization. Autoclaving resulted in the hardest perceived texture in oat. Gelatinization of starch appeared to contribute more to the hardness of oat groats than the cell wall structure. Of the instrumental methods used in this study the milling energy measurement appeared to be the most useful method for the analysis of the effects of processing on grain structure.
- sensory evaluation