Aleurone

In November 2009, the Aleurone Task Force began comprehensively reviewing the available literature and debating what the critical elements of the definition should be (i.e., a basic description of the material, generic processing information not tied to a specific technology, a description of purity, a measurement, and an implied health benefit). The task force developed a draft definition, and the grain science community was invited to comment. At the close of the comment period, the task force members considered the feedback and revised the definition. The following definition was approved on July 13, 2010:

Cereal aleurone tissue comprises the outermost layer(s) of the endosperm in cereal grains, and surrounds the starchy endosperm and part of the embryo. Cereal aleurone tissue is separated from the germ and starchy endosperm by standard milling practices, starting with the grain kernel or starting with the bran, followed by further extraction processes. Microscopic evaluation reveals that aleurone cells are morphologically distinct from other grain tissues because they contain a high concentration of niacin bodies. Each aleurone cell is enclosed within a fibrous cell wall that is thicker than endosperm cell walls and that is composed mainly of arabinoxylans and beta glucans in various ratios. Isolated aleurone tissue should contain low levels of starch and pericarp and represents a major portion of the grain’s physiologically beneficial substances for human nutrition.

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