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Effect of temperature on lutein esterification and lutein stability in wheat grain

Ahmad, Fauziah Tufail, Asenstorfer, Robert E., Soriano, Imelda R., Mares, Daryl J.
Journal of cereal science 2013 v.58 no.3 pp. 408-413
Triticum aestivum, Triticum turgidum subsp. durum, color, durum wheat, esterification, esters, food handling, food industry, lutein, shelf life, temperature
The creamy colour of many wheat-based end-products is conferred by endogenous lutein. During post-harvest storage of grain, free lutein may be converted in part to potentially more stable lutein mono- and di-fatty acid esters. This study investigates the synthesis of lutein esters and stability of free lutein and lutein esters over a wide range of temperatures in grain of a high lutein bread wheat, Triticum aestivum L. line DM5685*B12 and a durum, Triticum durum L cv Kamilaroi. Disappearance of free lutein and lutein esterification followed first order reaction rates. The maximum rate of lutein esterification was at ≈80 °C, however, the optimum temperature for maximum synthesis with minimum degradation was between 30 °C and 60 °C. No ester synthesis was observed at temperatures higher than 120 °C. The data are consistent with an enzyme participating in the esterification reaction. Lutein esters were found to be more stable than free lutein with a longer shelf life at 60 °C whilst at temperatures ≤40 °C, lutein degradation was minimal. This study provides new information on lutein ester formation and lutein stability that should be useful to grain handlers and food manufacturers seeking to optimise retention of lutein for the benefit of consumers.