Academy of Finland
Funding decision
Applicant / Contact person Maina, Henry
Organisation University of Helsinki
Project title Understanding the structuration process of cereal beta-glucan and its role in physiological functionality
Decision No. 326052
Decision date 22.05.2019
Funding period 01.09.2019 - 31.08.2021
Funding 250 000
WebFOCUS Report
Project description
The prevalence of lifestyle diseases in western countries is alarmingly high, calling for diet-based solutions as a long-term preventive measure. Food Safety Authorities in both EU and US have acknowledged the health benefits of cereal beta-glucans related to cholesterol lowering and blood glucose stabilizing effects. Despite the general accepted view that viscosity is an important factor in beta-glucan functionality the mechanism of its action is still unclear. Our recent studies show that gelation of beta-glucan may occur during food digestion. The gel-like structures can entrap cholesterol and glucose in the small intestine thus decreasing absorption. Additionally, we have questioned the role of phytate, in enhancing the physiological functionality of beta-glucan. This study we clarify the role of beta-glucan gel-structure formation and phytate in the physiological functionality of beta-glucans which is further verified in human intervention studies.