Sprouted Grains have been sprouting in the commercial baking news for quite a while. In this podcast we discuss the challenges of food safety, and science behind sprouting.

The guests are:

  • Rob Wong: President at AgriNeo
  • Dr. Debbie Rogers: Director of Baking Services at AIB International

Food safety in sprouted grains

Rob explains how challenging it is fighting pathogens in this industry. AgriNeo invents technology on how to fight pathogens in all sorts of flours. Rob mentions the challenge of protecting flours, and implementing food safety at the manufacturing level is tricky to maintain the nutrition while still getting pathogens killed.

AgriNeo started in 2009, with a bold and ambitious mission of trying to safely feed the world. AgriNeo have a novel way of addressing food safety, reminding bakeries that the oven is not the only place where to work on killing pathogens, but also taking into account the flour, mixes, toppings, seeds, etc. Their NeoPure solution, is organic, broad-spectrum and is applied directly to sprouted grains via atomization to destroy the harmful bacteria and fungus. It biodegrades after use into water. After being applied and biodegraded, there’s a drying step to make the seed go back to the water activity and moisture as it started.

The science behind sprouting

Debbie explains how the sprouting process works and what defines a sprout. The AACC international defines whole grain sprouting as: “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.”

Seeds need the right time and temperature so enzymes can start making changes in the seed so it thinks that it will convert into a plant to provide its nutritional value

The main purpose of malting is getting alpha-amylase (a starch degrading enzyme), however there’s also a lot of protease (aiding degrading of proteins), other types of amylases (that also work on the starch system), cellulose and xylanase (degrading cell wall materials and “freezing” the nutrition in the grain). The quality and quantity of enzymes can’t be exactly controlled, we can aid it with temperature, soaking time, different variety of grains, environmental factors, etc.

Challenges for bakeries are when sprouted grains have to be used immediately or not. Debbie explains that you can retard this reaction by putting the Sprouted Grains into the refrigerator or freezer. Sanitation is also a key step in sprouting. The hands, equipment and air in the environment have to be clean to assure sprouting food safety and quality.

Dr. Carson and Dr. Rogers also discuss adding gluten, controlling the process and decreasing fermentation time to control variables in Sprouting. They theorize that some strengthening enzyme like glucose oxidase could work as well.

If you need more assistance with your Sprouted Grains, AIB International offers consulting and training. Check out www.AIBOnline.org

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