Aleurone flour is a rich source of bioavailable folate in humans. (1/305)

With the use of novel milling technology, it has become commercially viable to isolate the aleurone layer of cells from wheat grain and to prepare a novel flour from this fraction that has a natural folate concentration of approximately 500 microgram/100 g. The aim of this study was to determine the relative bioavailability of natural folate from aleurone flour when ingested as a cereal. Using a series of randomized, short-term intervention trials with a cross-over involving eight men and eight women aged between 29 and 50 y, we compared the increment of plasma folate following ingestion of 1) 100 g wheat bran cereal (low folate control), 2) 100 g aleurone cereal, and 3) a tablet containing 500 microgram folic acid taken together with 100 g wheat bran cereal (high folate control). Folate absorption was measured by estimating the area under the plasma folate concentration versus time curve. The extent of increase in plasma folate over the 7-hour period following ingestion of aleurone cereal was more than fourfold greater than that observed following the wheat bran cereal (P < 0.0001) and not different from that observed following the 500 microgram folic acid tablet taken with wheat bran cereal. Differences were significant when data for males and females were analyzed separately (P < 0.001). This study has shown that cereal made from wheat aleurone flour is a good source of bioavailable, natural folate.  (+info)

Exposure-response relations of alpha-amylase sensitisation in British bakeries and flour mills. (2/305)

OBJECTIVES: To describe the levels of exposure to fungal alpha-amylase in British bakeries and flour mills, and to describe the relation between exposure to alpha-amylase and sensitisation to fungal alpha-amylase. METHODS: 495 personal flour dust samples were taken in seven British bakeries and flour mills and analysed for alpha-amylase with an immunoassay. Workers at the sites were asked to fill out questionnaires on work related symptoms, smoking history, and work history, and they were skin prick tested with common allergens and fungal alpha-amylase to assess sensitisation. RESULTS: Exposure to high concentrations of alpha-amylase occur in a few areas of British bakeries and flour mills, and there can be considerable differences in exposures to alpha-amylase between sites and between exposure groups, and even within similar exposure groups from different sites. Exposure to the highest concentrations of alpha-amylase was found in the dispensing and mixing areas of the bakeries (geometric mean (GM) 39.7 ng/m3). Exposure to alpha-amylase showed only a moderate correlation with concentrations of dust (r = 0.42) and flour aeroallergen (r = 0.46). The results also showed a relation between exposure to alpha-amylase and sensitisation to fungal alpha-amylase (prevalence ratio (PR) for medium exposure 3.9, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0.8 to 20.2, PR for high exposure 9.9, 95% CI 2.8 to 34.6) compared with the low exposure category). Atopic subjects had an increased risk of sensitisation, but this was not significant. CONCLUSION: This study suggests that exposure to alpha-amylase is a considerable health risk in British bakeries and flour mills. A small proportion of workers are exposed to alpha-amylase at concentrations that result in high rates of sensitisation. A reduction in exposure to alpha-amylase is likely to reduce this risk.  (+info)

Health surveillance in milling, baking and other food manufacturing operations--five years' experience. (3/305)

The objective of this study was to describe the incidence of allergic respiratory disease and its outcome in terms of symptoms and jobs, across different flour-using industries. It uses the findings of a health surveillance programme in a large food organization over a five-year period. The population under surveillance consisted of 3,450 employees with exposure to ingredient dusts, of whom 400 were in flour milling, 1,650 in bread baking, 550 in cake baking and 850 in other flour-using operations. A total of 66 employees with either asthma or rhinitis symptoms attributable to sensitization to allergens in the workplace were identified. The majority of these (48/66) had become symptomatic prior to the commencement of the health surveillance programme in 1993. The incidence rates (per million employees per year) for those who developed symptoms between 1993 and 1997 were 550 for flour milling, 1,940 for bread baking, 0 for cake baking and 235 for other flour-using operations. The agent believed to be responsible for symptoms was most commonly grain dust in flour millers and fungal amylase in bread bakers. Wheat flour appeared to have a weaker sensitizing potential than these other two substances. In terms of outcome, at follow-up 18% of symptomatically sensitized employees had left the company. Two of the ex-employees retired through ill health due to occupational asthma. Of those still in employment, 63% described an improvement in symptoms, 32% were unchanged and 4% were worse than when first diagnosed. Over half the cases still in employment were continuing to work in the same job as at the time of diagnosis.  (+info)

Evaluation of selected high-starch flours as ingredients in canine diets. (4/305)

Cereal grains represent 30 to 60% of the DM of many companion animal diets. Once incorporated into a diet, the starch component of these grains can provide an excellent source of ME. However, crystallinity and form of starch are variable and can cause incomplete digestion within the gastrointestinal tract. Diets fed in this experiment included one of six high-starch flours as the main source of carbohydrate. The flours originated from barley, corn, potato, rice, sorghum, and wheat. The diets were extruded and kibbled. Starch fraction concentrations of flours consisted of nearly 100% rapidly digestible starch (RDS) and slowly digestible starch (SDS) combined. Starch fraction concentrations of diets paralleled concentrations in flours. Flours varied widely in concentrations of CP, fat, starch, and total dietary fiber. Ileal OM and CP digestibilities were lowest for the potato flour treatment (74 and 64%, respectively). Ileal and total tract starch digestibilities were different (P<.05) among treatments; however, the starch component of all diets was nearly completely digested (>99%). Total tract digestibility of DM and OM was lowest for sorghum (80 and 84%, respectively) compared to all other diets. Crude protein digestibility was highest for corn (87%). Wet fecal weights tended (P<.08) to be greatest for dogs fed the barley treatment (175 g/d). However, dry fecal weights (dried at 55 degrees C) were greatest for dogs consuming the sorghum diet (51 g/d). Fecal scores were consistently greater (i.e., looser stools) for the barley treatment. Any of these flours could be used without negative effects on digestion at either the ileum or in the total tract. Fecal consistency data for dogs consuming the barley treatment indicate that diets containing large amounts (>50%) of barley may not be advantageous for dog owners who house their animals indoors for most of the day.  (+info)

Small bakeries--a cross-sectional study of respiratory symptoms, sensitization and dust exposure. (5/305)

This cross-sectional study investigated the prevalence of respiratory symptoms and sensitization to dust components in 224 individuals in 18 small bakeries in Scotland. Each work practice in the bakeries was characterized by an assessment of dust exposure and assigned to a category with either a direct exposure to flour dust of an indirect exposure to flour dust. We found that work-related respiratory symptoms were significantly associated with specific IgE to wheat flour and amylase but not to exposure category (except for nasal/eye symptoms). However, specific IgE to wheat flour was significantly associated with exposure category. There was a higher prevalence of immunological sensitization, reporting of work-related respiratory symptoms and exposure to dust than in other studies and of the 144 personal dust sample results taken, 21 (14.6%) of the total exceeded 10 mg/m3, the substantial dust concentration as outlined by the COSHH Regulations. Follow-up of those with work-related asthma symptoms (questionnaire response) was inconclusive of the work-relatedness of their symptoms, although it did confirm respiratory morbidity.  (+info)

Dietary defatted sesame flour decreases susceptibility to oxidative stress in hypercholesterolemic rabbits. (6/305)

Plant glucosides possess antioxidative properties due to their ability to scavenge free radicals. Sesame seeds contain a class of these compounds, the sesaminol glucosides. To evaluate their antioxidative activity in vivo, we fed rabbits diets containing 1% cholesterol (Chol) with or without 10% defatted sesame flour (DSF) (containing 1% sesaminol glucosides) for 90 d. We determined the susceptibility of their tissues to oxidation ex vivo as well as serum total cholesterol (TC), phospholipid (PL), triglyceride (TG) and HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) concentrations. Serum TC, HDL-C, PL and TG levels were unaffected by the addition of DSF. The HDL-C in the Chol + DSF group was greater than in the Chol group at 45 d. Both were greater than in the groups that did not consume cholesterol. Liver TC and TG were significantly lower in rabbits fed the diet containing DSF plus 1% cholesterol than in those fed 1% cholesterol alone. Lipid peroxidation activity, measured as 2-thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), was lower in the liver (P < 0.05) and serum (P = 0.06) of rabbits fed DSF plus cholesterol than in rabbits fed the cholesterol diet. Although we did not detect sesaminol glucosides in peripheral tissues, we observed abundant quantities of sesaminol in rabbits fed DSF, the principal metabolite. Our findings suggest that feeding DSF to rabbits does not protect cholesterol-induced hypercholesterolemia, but may decrease susceptibility to oxidative stress in rabbits fed cholesterol, perhaps due to the antioxidative activity of sesaminol.  (+info)

Quantification of the dose of inhaled flour: relation with nonspecific bronchial and immunological reactivities. (7/305)

The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between specific bronchial reactivity and respective nonspecific bronchial and immunological reactivities. Twenty-one patients underwent bronchial challenges with lactose and flour. The aerosol of particles was generated by a computer-controlled aerosolizer. Specific bronchial challenge results were expressed as the provocative dose of flour (PDf) that caused a 20% or 15% decrease in the forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1). For each subject, the decrease in FEV1 observed during the challenge with flour was compared with the calculated lower limit of the 99.7% confidence interval for the lactose challenge. The subjects also underwent a nonspecific challenge with methacholine and a measurement of the specific immunoglobulin E against wheat. The inhalation of lactose did not significantly affect FEV1. Nine subjects had high reactivity to wheat flour with a PDf20 <400 microg. Five subjects had intermediate reactivity: FEV1 fell by <20% but by significantly more than that in the test with lactose. For 7 subjects, there was no significant change in FEVI for inhaled doses of flour over 1390 microg. The results for specific bronchial challenge were significantly correlated with those for the methacholine test (p<0.02). Positive skin tests and specific immunoglobulin E against wheat were observed more frequently in the high reactivity group. Specific bronchial challenge can be performed safely to establish precise dose-response curves. The provocative dose of flour causing a 20% decrease in forced expiratory volume in one second is useful for evaluating the degree of specific reactivity but is not suitable in cases of intermediate reactivity in which comparison with the lactose test is necessary. Specific reactivity is probably a function of immunological and nonspecific bronchial reactivities.  (+info)

Folic acid and neural tube defects. Good news at last! (8/305)

QUESTION: I read last year that Canada has followed the United States in fortifying flour with folic acid to prevent neural tube defects. Do we know yet whether this strategy is working? ANSWER: In Canada, flour is fortified with folic acid to a level of 0.15 mg/100 g. Although a mandatory date was set for November 1, 1998, most if not all companies implemented the change on or before January 1, 1998. Recent figures from the United States, where the deadline for fortification was January 1998, show that by March 1999, mean folate levels in flour doubled, substantially decreasing the risk for neural tube defects.  (+info)