doi: 10.15389/agrobiology.2017.4.646eng

UDC 633.39:633.13:631.52



I.G. Loskutov1, 2, V.I. Polonskiy3

1Federal Research Center N.I. Vavilov All-Russian Institute of Plant Genetic Resources, Federal Agency of Scientific Organizations, 42-44, ul. Bol’shaya Morskaya, St. Petersburg, 190000 Russia,
2Saint-Petersburg State University, 7-9, Universitetskaya nab., Petersburg, 199034 Russia;
3Krasnoyarsk State Agrarian University, 90, pr. Mira, Krasnoyarsk, 660049 Russia,

The authors declare no conflict of interests


Polonskiy V.I.

Received June 16, 2016


The paper offers a review of the published data on the structure of β-glucan molecules in the oat kernel, their influence on the lipoprotein content and glycemic index, on the digestive system operation and cancer cells, as well as on other human health indicators. It is noted that water-soluble food fibers have both dietary, prophylactic and healing effects on the human organism (official reports of the US Food and Drug Administration and European Food Safety Association, EFSA). It is discussed that physicochemical properties, chemical modifications and possibilities of industrial application of β-glucans define clear perspectives for their potential use in foods, medicinal and cosmetic products. Besides, the results of analyzing the diversity of oat cultivars and species for the β-glucans content in the kernel are discussed. It is stated that the forms of naked oat have a higher total content of this polysaccharide than the hulled oats, while the latter contain more insoluble β-glucans in the oat kernel. It should be noted that the content of fibers depends on the meteorological conditions and agricultural methods of oat cultivation. The content of β-glucans in the kernel is related to the accumulation of protein and fat in the kernel, to the grain volume weight and to grain productivity. The problems of creating new productive oat cultivars with the maximum content and optimal structure of the said polysaccharide combined with other qualitative characters of the kernel, as well as possibilities of producing functional foods from the processed grain of such cultivars are considered. It is concluded that β-glucans will have an increasing importance in the global food and pharmaceutical industries.

Keywords: oat, naked, hulled, Avena, β-glucans, polysaccharides, food fibers, lipoproteins, glycemic index, cholesterol, cancer cells, breeding, processing.


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