Sprouting increases key nutrients in grains, including vitamins and fiber, and reduces antinutrients.


Also Known As Sprouted Grains or Malting

What is Sprouting?

Sprouting is the process of encouraging germination in seeds, grains and legumes. A standard of identity for sprouting in the U.S. does not exist.

Sprouted grains are continuing to gain traction in the marketplace because sprouting increases key nutrients in grains, including increasing vitamins, increasing fiber and reducing antinutrients such as phytic acid and trypsin inhibitors. Sprouted grains are considered as whole grains as long as they contain original bran, germ and endosperm. If chitting does not exceed kernel length, the nutrient values are not diminished.


The challenge in sprouting wheat is controlling the degree of enzyme (alpha-amylase) activity. Sprouting for adequate bread production should target a falling number range of 300-350 sec. Wheat with a falling number higher than 300 sec is considered free of sprouting damage, while wheat with a falling number lower than 160 sec is considered unsuitable for breadmaking.


Sprouting process includes three major steps:

1. Steeping: the grain is submerged in water for a set time with aeration, which washes and hydrates the grain prior to germination.

2. Germination: humid air is circulated around the grain to control growth.

3. Kilning: warm air is circulated around the grain to dry it, develop flavor and color, and stop the germination process.


Sprouting has been reported to increase key nutrients in grians, including antioxidants, tocopherols, thiamin (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), biotin (vitamin B7), folate (vitamin B9), and fiber, by 1.5-3.8 times in germinated seeds (K.Richer, K. Christiansen, G. Guo. 2014).


Sprouted wheat enhances bread baking performance. Cereal Foods World 59, 231-233

FDA Legal Requirement

In early 2008, AACCI’s Board of Directors decreed that, “Malted or sprouted grains containing all of the original bran, germ, and endosperm shall be considered whole grains as long as sprout growth does not exceed kernel length and nutrient values have not diminished. These grains should be labeled as malted or sprouted whole grain.”