Intensification of the extraction process of ferulic acid from wheat bran

Figure 1. Ferulic acid and whole wheat

Phenolic compounds are of considerable interest due to their antioxidant properties. These compounds possess an aromatic ring bearing one or more hydroxyl groups and their structures may range from that of a simple phenolic molecule to that of a complex high-molecular weight polymer.

Ferulic acid, a phenolic compound, exhibits beneficial physiological effects such as anti-oxidant, anti-microbial, anti-thrombosis and anti-cancer activities. Thus, it is widely used in food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries.

It is the most abundant hydroxycinnamic acid found in plant cell walls. In grains, it exists in three forms:

  • Soluble free acids
  • Soluble conjugated moieties (esterified to sugars and other low molecular mass compounds)
  • Insoluble bound moieties (esterified to the arabinoxylans and other cell wall structural components)

Most of ferulic acid is in the bound form.


On the other hand, the liberation of ferulic acid from whole wheat flour during baking is said to alter Maillard chemistry leading to a reduction in the development of desirable flavor notes compared to refined wheat flour formulated products.

The aim of this project is the intensification of extraction process of ferulic acid from wheat bran in order to avoid its bad effects in whole wheat flour formulated products and to obtain it as an important antioxidant product. Various methods such as enzymatic, alkaline, ultrasound assisted extraction and microwave assisted extraction would be used.

María Victoria Pazo CepedaProject CTQ2013-44143-R

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