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Germinated buckwheat has better nutritional value than ungerminated buckwheat

15 May 2015  •  Author(s): Victoria White

A new study conducted researchers at Wilmar (Shanghai) Biotechnology Research and Development Centre Co., Ltd., has found that germinated buckwheat, an important raw material for food and functional food production, has better nutritional value than ungerminated buckwheat.


Germination is a complex process in which significant changes in the biochemical, nutritional, and sensory characteristics occur due to the activation of dormant enzymes. As a result, the germinated seeds or sprouts are nutritionally superior to their original seeds with higher levels of nutrients, lower amounts of compounds that interfere with the absorption of nutrients, and increased protein and starch digestibility.

Germinated buckwheat provides an excellent natural source of flavonoids

In the study, changes of nutritional ingredients, anti-nutritional components, chemical composition, and antioxidant activities of buckwheat seeds were investigated over 72 hours of germination. Phenolic compounds increased significantly during the germination process, which may be due to the activation of phenylalanine ammonialyase. The improvement of flavonoids led to significant enhancement of the antioxidant activities of germinated buckwheat. As such, germinated buckwheat was found to have better nutritional value and antioxidant activities than ungerminated buckwheat, and it represented an excellent natural source of flavonoids and phenolic compounds, especially rutin and C-glycosylflavones.

The germinated seeds could help in the prevention and treatment of various human diseases, but could also be helpful in improving the development of active components for functional food products and pharmaceuticals.

The research appears in Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT).

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