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Comparative study of composition and technological quality of amaranth

I. Gross chemical composition, amino acid and mineral content

Acta Alimentaria
Authors: S. Tömösközi, I. Baracskai, R. Schönlechner, E. Berghofer, and R. Läsztity

Eight groups of amaranth grain samples, belonging to the species Amaranthus cruentus and A. hypochondriacus , grown in Austria and Hungary were studied. Gross chemical composition, amino acid content and mineral composition of the whole grain were determined. The effect of heat treatment on amino acid content was also investigated. The range of concentration of main constituents of samples studied corresponded to the average data reported by other researchers. However, the relatively big difference between lowest (14.23%) and highest (17.40%) protein content suggests that genetic potential for increasing the protein content may be realized in breeding. Amino acid composition profile is generally closer to Leguminosae than to cereal grains except for sulphur containing amino acids being present in higher amount in amaranth than in legumes. The concentrations of minerals in seeds varied in a relatively wide range, and the micro-components, like Fe, Cu, Zn, were present in higher amount in amaranth seeds compared to the average values found in wheat. It was confirmed that heat treatment of amaranth grain (e.g. popping) might reduce the available lysine content. Contradictory data published in the literature may be explained by differences in initial sugar and moisture content of grain, which influence the rate of potential Maillard-reaction.

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Acta Alimentaria
Authors: G. Balázs, I. Baracskai, M. Nádosi, A. Harasztos, F. Békés, and S. Tömösközi

The utilisation of microchip capillary electrophoresis has the potential to improve the capability of high throughput sample analysis of biomolecules. The aim of this study was to review this capability for cereal protein analysis.The commercially available lab-on-a-chip (LOC) technology was characterised in the separation of total proteins extracted from whole wheat meals. Important analytical parameters (such as repeatability) of both qualitative (molecular size estimation) and quantitative (relative percentage of total protein) aspects of LOC data were determined and discussed in the light of the need of possible applications. It revealed that the LOC has very good repeatability and reproducibility parameters; however the non-globular structure of the proteins can highly affect the sizing accuracy. Among other applications, the profiles were found to be suitable for wheat cultivar identification and to monitor environment related alterations on protein composition.After a confirmation process the LOC can be an appropriate tool for fast protein profile screening in cereal science and technology in diverse applications, and it can complement the conventional methods of analysis.

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Cereal Research Communications
Authors: I. Baracskai, G. Balázs, L. Liu, W. Ma, M. Oszvald, M. Newberry, S. Tömösközi, L. Láng, Z. Bedő, and F. Békés

The glutenin allele gene-pool, the distribution of the individual alleles on the 6 loci coding for glutenin subunits and their combinations were determined in a sample population containing 107 cultivars bred and grown in Martonvásár, Hungary at the Agricultural Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. The database is based on the results of three independent analytical procedures carried out using the traditional SDS-PAGE based allele identification, the state-of-art MALDI-TOF technology and the high throughput capillary electrophoresis based on the lab-on-a-chip technique. The usefulness of integrating the information on both HMW GS and LMW GS allelic composition for future genetic and technological improvement is discussed.

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