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    Wheat Germ Fermentation with Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Lactobacillus plantarum: Process Optimization for Enhanced Composition and Antioxidant Properties In Vitro
    Wheat germ, a by-product of the flour milling industry, is currently commercialized mainly for animal feed applications. This study aims to explore and optimize the process of wheat germ fermentation to achieve products with enhanced nutritional composition and biological properties and further characterize the fermented products generated using these optimum conditions. The type of microorganism (Saccharomyces cerevisiae 5022 (yeast) and Lactobacillus plantarum strain 299v (bacteria)), pH (4.5, 6, and 7.5) and fermentation time (24, 48, and 72 h) were optimized using response surface methodology (RSM) aiming to achieve fermented products with high total phenol content (TPC), dimethoxy benzoquinone (DMBQ) and antioxidant activities. Optimum fermentation conditions were achieved using L. plantarum, pH 6, 48 h, generating extracts containing TPC (3.33 mg gallic acid equivalents/g), DMBQ (0.56 mg DMBQ/g), and DPPH radical scavenging (86.49%). These optimally fermented products had higher peptide concentrations (607 μg/mL), gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) (19,983.88 mg/kg) contents compared to non-fermented or yeast-fermented products. These findings highlight the influence of fermentation conditions of wheat germ and the promising industrial application of wheat germ fermentation for developing food products with enhanced biological properties promising for their commercialization as functional foods.
    Scopus© Citations 10  72