p.p1 can act as a protection against cancer

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Apple-tab-span {white-space:pre}In the recent years, the importance of whole grains has been acknowledged, due to the numerous research studies conducted on various aspects of whole grains.Epidemiological studies support the claim that wheat, one of the most commonly consumed whole grain, can act as a protection against cancer and cardiovascular disease Research conducted by Joanne Slavin, David Jacobs and Leonard Marquart exemplifies this claim.The basis of this research is that wheat has several phytochemicals, the most significant ones being phenolic compounds and flavonoid. These compounds have gained attention in many areas of research as they exhibit strong antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are naturally occurring, beneficial compounds that work by stabilising free radicles. Free radicles are part of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), which are all highly reactive, oxygen containing molecules. These include singlet oxygen,the superoxide anion radical, hydroxyl radical,hydrogen peroxide, nitric oxide radical, and various lipid peroxides.Free radicals are potentially damaging molecules that contain an unpaired electron making them unstable.

To stabilise or neutralise themselves, they tend to gain electrons. The electrons they gain are from the electrons removed from sugars, fatty acids and amino acids during cellular processes.Although the process of gaining electrons initially stabilises the free radical, it generates another free radical in the process. Thus in turn, a chain of reactions begin, producing thousands of free radical within few seconds of the initial reaction. Reactions of these potentially damaging molecules with membrane lipids, nucleic acids, proteins and enzymes may lead to damage and/or severe diseases.

For example, ageing and several diseases like cancer, heart disease, decline brain function and immune system are results of cell damage caused by free radicles.The adverse affects of free radicles are kept under control by the antioxidants produced by our body, under normal conditions. However, when the body is exposed to more oxidative stress than it can take or there is a deficiency of antioxidants, the damage caused by free radicles becomes evident. It must be noted that aside from being generated during normal cellular processes, free radicles are also generated when the body is exposed to ultraviolet rays,radiation, tobacco smoke, air pollution etc.

These environmental factors cause oxidative stress, which is the unbalance between pro-oxidants and antioxidant mechanisms, leading to excessive oxidative metabolism. Moreover, with the growing industrialisation,technology and their negative outcomes of global warming, our exposure to environmental factors such as air pollution, radiation and ultra violet rays, that cause oxidative stress,had tremendously increased.Thus, more often than not, an external supply of antioxidants is needed. Several fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants. For example, Vitamin C,E and beta carotene are among the most common sources of dietary antioxidants.Seeing the importance and necessity of antioxidants, numerous research studies are being conducted on methods to enhance the antioxidant content in common dietary items.  In this essay I will explore the antioxidant content of one of the most commonly consumed food item, wheat, and how the antioxidant content in wheat can be maximised.

To hypothesis maximum antioxidant property in wheat, it is essential to understand the structure of a wheat grain. Before the process of milling (which involves the grinding of the grain to make it into flour) wheat is found in the form of kernels. The wheat kernel consists of three main structures – – the endosperm(80–85% of the grain)  the bran (12–18% of the grain) the germ(2–3% of the grain)Out of these three structures, it has been found that the bran and the germ are the most nutrient rich, containing several proteins and also being richer in fibre. Primarily, these structures are rich in phytochemicals including phenolic compounds, carotenoids, vitamin E, lignans, ?-glucans, inulin, resistant starch, sterols and phytates.Among these, phenolic compounds have been proven significant in scientific research, due to their strong antioxidant properties.

The most abundant phenolic compounds found in cereals are phenolic acids and flavonoids. Previous literature suggests the same, as in the journal of agriculture and food chemisrty, research conducted by Zili? S1, Serpen A, Ak?ll?o?lu G, Gökmen V, Van?etovi? J talks explores the phenolic coumpouts in wheatHowever for consumption purposes, more often than not, wheat is converted to Wheat flour or Refined flour . Both of these are usually obtained for baking purposes, however, baking is easier with refined wheat flour than normal wheat flour. Wheat flour and refined wheat flour is produced from the wheat grains. However the process and the components of the end products are different.

Typically, wheat flour is made by simply grinding or mashing the whole wheat grain. Thus, all three layers of the grain are kept intact. However, the entire layers are not used, thus the nutrient content is decreased. Only parts of the bran and germ and used to make wheat flour.On the other hand, refined wheat flour is obtained through the process of Milling. Essentially, milling is the process through which the bran and the germ is separated from the endosperm and the separated endosperm is reduced to a uniform particle size (commonly known as flour).

The first step in the process of milling is called Tempering of Wheat. It involves the addition  of moisture in precise amounts to toughen the bran and soften the inner endosperm. By doing this, parts of the kernel can be separated more easily. Next, the wheat undergoes grinding and sifting. The goal of these processes is also to remove the endosprem from the bran and germ. Thus,after the process of milling, the nutrient rich bran and germ layer are removed.

 Since the bran and germ are removed, the flour formed is finer and thus is often preferred while cooking. however, the lack of nutrients is overlooked and that is why in this experiment I wish to investigate the impact of post harvest methods on wheat grain and which form is most beneficial.