View Full Version : Sprouting food for improved nutrient profile

07-17-2008, 09:46 PM
Anyone here germinate/sprout their food to improve nutrient content? Any info offered would be appreciated.

07-17-2008, 09:47 PM
If you're talking about sprouted grains, I think I only eat them in my bread. I have no idea how you sprout grains anyway, though.

07-17-2008, 09:48 PM
I have no idea how you sprout grains anyway, though.

Let them sit in water for a bit

07-17-2008, 09:51 PM
Let them sit in water for a bit

I suppose that would make sense.

07-18-2008, 12:49 PM
Well, I thought some people on this forum would be able to contribute something to this topic. I'll help it along.

Some excerpts from:


Marketing of Value-Added Rice Products in Japan: Germinated Brown Rice and Rice Bread

Shoichi Ito and Yukihiro Ishikawa Tottori University, Japan
FAO International Rice Year, 2004 Symposium Rome, Italy February 12, 2004

I. Introduction

Rice consumption in Japan has been decreasing since the mid 1960's. During recent years, it has been decreasing by 1% a year. Accordingly, the domestic rice production, which is the heart of agriculture in Japan, has also been decreasing. The same trend is observed in many Asian countries, such as Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, and even in China. In China, per capita rice consumption has been steadily decreasing since the early 1990's. To stop declining rice consumption is a critical issue. To develop some value-added rice products is important to encourage rice consumption as a whole. Germinated brown rice (GBR) and rice bread (RB) are two examples that attract consumers.
GBR and RB currently are becoming increasingly popular setting up fair sized industries in Japan during the last several years. Large companies have been producing rice cookers designed for GBR and RB, marketing channels for them are being developed, more products based on GBR and RB are on the road, and more and more retail shops are selling GBR and RB. Even school lunch is involved nationwide. The GBR and RB can grow to be some of the keys for recovering the popularity for rice in Japan and other Asian countries.

II. Germinated Brown Rice (GBR)

?@Background of GBR
Nutrition of sprouted grains has been studied since decades ago. Finney (1978) showed enhancement of wheat and soybean seeds if they were sprouted. Tkachuk (1979) also found similar situation in wheat. Saikusa, Horino and Mori (1994) found that ??-aminobutyric acid (GABA) increased dramatically if brown rice is soaked in 40 degrees in Celsius water for 8 hours to 24 hours. Okada et al. (2000) reported that intake of GABA for 8 consecutive weeks suppressed blood pressure and improved sleeplessness, and autonomic disorder observed during the menopausal or presenile period. More recently, Jeon et al. (2003) found that GBR may be effective for suppressing liver damage. In Japan, people in the ancient era may have been eating brown rice soaked (Kayahara, 2003).
GBR was established for marketing in Japan in 1995. GBR products were developed and marketed first by Domer Co. (Ueda City, Nagano Pref.) and the city government, Mino-cho of Kagawa Pref., was one of the earliest organizations engaged in the production of GBR. It is now produced by several private companies including agricultural cooperatives. During the last decade, 49 items related to GBR have been patented. The method to make GBR is quite simple. Soak the brown rice for one night or two depending on temperature and they are sprouted. This process make the internal minerals change, and the brown rice becomes more nutritious, easier to chew and tastier.

@Contribution of GBR to Health
Eating brown rice became popular in Japan back in the 1970's. That was because of rich fiber and other nutrients contained in the brown rice. However, the popularity did not last long due to the fact that brown rice had to be cooked in the pressure cooker and was still hard to chew and less tasty. GBR overcame the problem. It can be cooked in an ordinary rice cooker and is soft enough to chew even for children. Further, an added benefit is the fact that GBR is much more nutritious.
During the process of being sprouted, nutrients in the brown rice change drastically. Various types of analyses on Germinated brown rice have been conducted in Japan. Those major nutrients that increase in content in the GBR are ??-aminobutyric acid (GABA), dietary fiber, inositols, ferulic acid, phytic acid, tocotrienols, magnesium, potassium, zinc, ??-oryzanol, and prolylendopeptidase inhibitor (Kayahara and Tukahara, 2000). Kayahara and Tsukahara indicate that volume of nutrients contained in GBR relative to milled rice are 10 times for GABA, nearly 4 times for dietary fiber, vitamin E, niacine and lysine, and about 3 times for vitamin B1 and B6, and Magnesium (Fig. 1). Accordingly, they conclude that continuous intake of GBR is good for accelerating metabolism of brain, preventing headache, relieving constipation, preventing cancer of colon, regulating blood sugar level, preventing heart disease, lowering blood pressure as well as preventing Alzheimer's disease (Table 1).
Table 2 shows the results of analyses on nutrients contained in GBR relative to the situation of brown rice before germination. In these analyses, we selected not only Japanese rice but also California medium grains (Calrose and M401 varieties) and Vietnamese long grains (ordinary grains and jasmine rice). Through many chemical analyses, it was indicated that level of moisture and length of period after harvest influence whether the brown rice can be sprouted or not. These two factors appear to influence the magnitude of change in nutrients.
Therefore, those two items are shown in the table as well. The results of the analyses indicate that there is a significant change in profiles of free amino acids for all brown rice as they get sprouted. GABA increased from 3.6 to 6.1 for the Vietnamese ordinary long grain despite the extremely low germination rate. GABA in Calrose increased more than two times from 4.9 to 10.9 and for M401 more than three times from 2.7 to 9.8 with germination rates of 90% and 56%, respectively. For the Japanese Koshihikari and Hitomebore varieties, GABA increased from 7.6 to 16.6 and from 10.5 to 13.6, respectively, with high germination rates.

(Personal interjection here. This article appears to have been written in Japanese originally and then translated into English. I have noted some grammatical errors but what stood out from above is that they claim that phytic acid levels were increased. I am fairly sure it should be a decrease in phytic acid. Also the link to Table 2 is not valid. Would be really nice to see that.)

@Preparation and Marketing of GBR
The basic procedure to prepare GBR is; first select good brown rice to germinate; second, soak it for some 20 hours in warm water at around 30 to 40 degrees in Celsius or longer with cooler temperature; changing water a few times depending on smell being developed during the soaking; wash it lightly before cooking. GBR producing companies pack it into two types; dry and wet. Moisture level of dry and wet GBR are generally at 15% and 30%, respectively. The marketing procedures are conducted mainly through three routes: Catalogue, internet and retail shopping. Market prices of the GBR is at the range of 1,000 yen (appr. US$9.00) to 800 yen (US$7.00) per 1kg comparing the prices for the ordinary milled rice ranging from about 300 yen to 600 yen depending upon quality. Although GBR can be easily prepared at home, they are priced extraordinarily high for sale. The GBR was originally started in 1995. Nowadays, GBR products are being sold as much as 15,000 MT in Japan, and the marketed value as much as approximately 15 billion yen. Total rice consumption in Japan is currently about 9 million MT in brown rice basis. The industry has targeted total sales of GBR in Japan at 90,000 MT, a 1% of the total rice consumption, in the near future. GBR is also served at restaurants. An oriental atmosphere restaurant in Kyoto has served home-made GBR rice since 5 years ago. The owner insists that GBR attracts young women. GBR is often quoted in periodicals featuring health and fashion. Both the aged for mainly health and young mainly for fashion and health appear to appreciate the GBR. GBR is already applied to many products such as GBR rice-balls, GBR soup, GBR bread, GBR doughnuts, GBR cookies, GBR rice burger, etc. GBR is mixed with other materials in those products. GBR can be applied to many dishes in the world. Italian risotto, Spanish paella, Brazilian fejoada, and Indian curry & rice, etc may be suitable for using GBR. It can be used even for sushi. Among all those possibilities, making GBR at home is the best, cheapest and most nutritious. Because GBR is eaten as brown rice, there is no 10% loss which usually occurs during the milling process from brown rice. GBR's high nutrition content is quite critical when food supply is short. GBR can be applied to indica rice. Indica rice often contains some bitter tasting material on the outer layer of the grains. Accordingly, it is suggested to soak it in the refrigerator for an extra day or two before cooking (Horino, 2004). Horino hints that the parboiled rice process may be applied for GBR rather easily for the indica rice. Before steaming the rough rice, the rice can be sprouted first.

07-18-2008, 12:52 PM
and this article was taken from a link on the page noted above:

Soaked brown rice is better for you

Tuesday, 19 December 2000

A team of Japanese scientists has found that germinating brown rice by soaking it for several hours before it is cooked - enhances its already high nutritional value.

The findings were presented last week at the 2000 International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies.

Germinated rice contains much more fibre than conventional brown rice, say the researchers, three times the amount of the essential amino acid lysine, and ten times the amount of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), another amino acid known to improve kidney function.

The researchers also found that brown rice sprouts - tiny buds less than a millimetre tall - contain a potent inhibitor of an enzyme called protylendopetidase, which is implicated in Alzheimer's disease.

They determined that germination activates enzymes that liberate additional nutrients.

"The birth of a sprout activates dormant enzymes in the brown rice all at once to supply the best nutrition to the growing sprout," explained Dr Hiroshi Kayahara, the lead investigator on the project, and a biochemist from Shinshu University in Nagano, Japan.

Rice, whether brown or white, is a major part of most Asian diets, often eaten with nearly every meal, however the Western diet tends to contain a lot less rice.

To make the rice sprout, the researchers soaked it in water at 32 degrees C for 22 hours. The outer bran layer softened and absorbed water easily, making the rice easier to cook. Cooked sprouted rice has a sweet flavor, the researchers report, because the liberated enzymes break down some of the sugar and protein in the grain.

White rice will not germinate using this process, notes Kayahara.

China, India and Indonesia - home to nearly half of the world's people - are the world leaders in rice production. Expanding populations throughout Asia will require rice production to increase by about a third over the next 20 years, according to the Rice Foundation.

The weeklong International Chemical Congress is sponsored jointly by the American Chemical Society, the Chemical Society of Japan, the Canadian Society of Chemistry, the Royal Australian Chemical Institute, and the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry.

ABC Science Online


07-18-2008, 01:01 PM
i sprout wheat berries.

They're not bad, a little sweet actually.

I'd sprout oat groats and kamut/quinoa too but i can't find them raw anywhere yet..

08-01-2008, 04:57 PM
Compound That Helps Rice Grow Reduces Nerve, Vascular Damage From Diabetes

ScienceDaily (July 30, 2008) ? You may want to soak your brown rice.

Researchers have found that a compound that helps rice seed grow, springs back into action when brown rice is placed in water overnight before cooking, significantly reducing the nerve and vascular damage that often result from diabetes.

"You have to let it grow, germinate a little bit," says Dr. Robert K. Yu, director of the Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics and Institute of Neuroscience at the Medical College of Georgia. "Some of the active ingredients generated as a result of the germination process are beneficial to you."

Germinated brown rice's ability to help diabetics lower their blood sugar has been shown but how it works remained unknown. New research, published online in the Journal of Lipid Research, shows the growth factor acylated steryl glucosides or ASG, helps normalize blood sugar and enzymes that are out-of-whack in diabetes.

"The advantage of knowing this key ingredient and its structure is we can now make a ton of it; you don't have to rely on rice to produce it or eating rice to get this beneficial effect," says Dr. Yu, the paper's corresponding author.

Studies were done in animal models of type 1 diabetes with two different blood sugar levels that reflect patients' varying blood sugars. They were fed diets of white, brown or pre-germinated brown rice. Unlike white rice, less-processed brown rice still has some of the germ or growth structure that, after about 24 hours in water, resumes activity. Scientists watched as the resurrected ASG, a growth factor and lipid, helped normalize metabolism.

"When blood sugar levels increase, the metabolic balance changes," says Dr. Seigo Usuki, neurobiologist in the MCG School of Medicine and the paper's first author. "Part of the way we know this growth factor works is by increasing levels of good enzymes that are decreased in diabetes."

Dr. Usuki is talking about enzymes such as ATPase, which help maintain nerve membranes so they can conduct electricity and communicate. Decrease of ATPase is a hallmark of the nerve damage that accompanies diabetes. Also reduced in diabetes is homocysteine-thiolactonase, or HTase, an enzyme that decreases levels of homocysteine, a known risk factor for vascular disease. The liver produces a low level of homocysteine but that level is elevated in diabetes while the enzyme that controls it decreases. Unchecked, homocysteine makes oxidative stress compounds that injure and kill cells. HTase is one way HDL, the so-called "good cholesterol," helps protect blood vessels from disease. A regular diet of pre-germinated brown rice diet helps get both back to a healthier level.

Fancl Hatsuga Genmai Co., Ltd., in Yokohama, Japan, which funded the studies and supplied the pre-germinated rice, already is working with Dr. Usuki on a supplement that can provide consumers who prefer not to soak ? or eat ? rice with the benefits of ASG.

The MCG research team reported in December 2007 in Nutrition & Metabolism that pre-germinated brown rice was better at protecting nerves from diabetes than un-soaked brown or white rice. They showed a then-unidentified lipid helped protect the nerve membrane and increase activity of HTase and the good cholesterol. Germination also is known to increase levels of the neurotransmitter GABA, which is believed to have many beneficial health effects such as lowering blood pressure, improving cognition and lowering blood glucose levels. However the MCG scientists have shown the lipid has a more powerful impact on HTase activity.

The germ layer activated by soaking brown rice contains many vitamins and minerals in addition to the bioactive ingredient that would be beneficial to everyone, Dr. Yu says. The roughage of the rice grain also is helpful.