Bioactives from Millet: Properties and Effects of Processing on Bioavailability

  • Taiwo O. Akanbi
  • Yakindra Timilsena
  • Sushil DhitalEmail author


Millets are widely consumed cereal grains in Asia, Africa and some parts of Eastern Europe. Although, underutilized in the western world, they are rich sources of major nutrients including carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, fibres, minerals, and vitamins. Unlike wheat, barley or rye, millet is gluten-free and can be used to make nutritious and healthy food. Several studies have shown that millets are rich sources of bioactive compounds such as polyphenols. Because millet is not a single plant species, there will be variation in the types and forms of bioactive compounds present in each species as well as their bioactivity and health-promoting properties. Besides, processing steps involved in preparing millet-based food may also have effects on the overall health benefits of resultant product. This chapter provides detailed information on the health benefits of millet bioactives and bioprocessing effects on these compounds. It is expected that it will be a useful resource for food technologists, nutritionist, dieticians and food engineers.


  1. 1.
    Ravindran G (1991) Studies on millets: proximate composition, mineral composition, and phytate and oxalate contents. Food Chem 39:99–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Cho Y-I, Chung J-W, Lee G-A, Ma K-H, Dixit A, Gwag J-G, Park Y-J (2010) Development and characterization of twenty-five new polymorphic microsatellite markers in proso millet (Panicum miliaceum L.). Genes Genomics 32:267–273CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kalinova J, Moudry J (2006) Content and quality of protein in proso millet (Panicum miliaceum L.) varieties. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 61:43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Upadhyaya HD, Pundir RPS, Gowda CLL, Gopal RV, Singh S (2009) Establishing a core collection of foxtail millet to enhance the utilization of germplasm of an underutilized crop. Plant Genet Resour 7:177–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Amadou I, Amza T, Shi YH, Le GW (2011) Chemical analysis and antioxidant properties of foxtail millet bran extracts. Songklanakarin J Sci Technol 33:509–515Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Chethan S, Malleshi NG (2007) Finger millet polyphenols: characterization and their nutraceutical potential. Am J Food Technol 2:618–629CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Takan JP, Chipili J, Muthumeenakshi S, Talbot NJ, Manyasa EO, Bandyopadhyay R et al (2012) Magnaporthe oryzae populations adapted to finger millet and rice exhibit distinctive patterns of genetic diversity, sexuality and host interaction. Mol Biotechnol 50:145–158CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Anju T Jr, Sarita S (2010) Suitability of foxtail millet (Setaria italica) and barnyard millet (Echinochloa frumentacea) for development of low glycemic index biscuits. Malays J Nutr 16:361PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Basavaraj G, Rao PP, Bhagavatula S, Ahmed W (2010) Availability and utilization of pearl millet in India. J SAT Agric Res 8:1Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Lyon DJ (1995) Producing and marketing proso millet in the Great Plains. University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension, LincolnGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Taylor JRN, Schober TJ, Bean SR (2006) Novel food and non-food uses for sorghum and millets. J Cereal Sci 44:252–271CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Devi PB, Vijayabharathi R, Sathyabama S, Malleshi NG, Priyadarisini VB (2014) Health benefits of finger millet (Eleusine coracana L.) polyphenols and dietary fiber: a review. J Food Sci Technol 51:1021–1040CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Murty DS, Kumar KA (1995) Traditional uses of sorghum and millets. In: Dendy DAV (ed) Sorghum and millets: chemistry and technology. American Association of Cereal Chemists, St. Paul, pp 185–221Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Shahidi F, Chandrasekara A (2013) Millet grain phenolics and their role in disease risk reduction and health promotion: a review. J Funct Foods 5:570–581CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Chandrasekara A, Shahidi F (2010) Content of insoluble bound phenolics in millets and their contribution to antioxidant capacity. J Agric Food Chem 58:6706–6714CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kumari D, Madhujith T, Chandrasekara A (2016) Comparison of phenolic content and antioxidant activities of millet varieties grown in different locations in Sri Lanka. Food Sci Nutr 5:474–485CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Viswanath V, Urooj A, Malleshi NG (2009) Evaluation of antioxidant and antimicrobial properties of finger millet polyphenols (Eleusine coracana). Food Chem 114:340–346CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Saleh ASM, Zhang Q, Chen J, Shen Q (2013) Millet grains: nutritional quality, processing, and potential health benefits. Compr Rev Food Sci Food Saf 12:281–295CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Evers T, Millar S (2002) Cereal grain structure and development: some implications for quality. J Cereal Sci 36:261–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Mcdonough CM, Rooney LW (1989) Structural characteristics of Pennisetum americanum using scanning electron and fluorescence microscopies. Food Microstruct 8:137–149Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Akanbi TO, Barrow CJ (2018) Lipase-produced hydroxytyrosyl eicosapentaenoate is an excellent antioxidant for the stabilization of omega-3 bulk oils, emulsions and microcapsules. Molecules 23:275CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Shobana S, Kumari SRU, Malleshi NG, Ali SZ (2007) Glycemic response of rice, wheat and finger millet based diabetic food formulations in normoglycemic subjects. Int J Food Sci Nutr 58:363–372CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Arts IC, Hollman PC (2005) Polyphenols and disease risk in epidemiologic studies. Am J Clin Nutr 81:317SCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Hertog MGL, Feskens EJM, Kromhout D, Hertog MGL, Hollman PCH, Hertog MGL et al (1993) Dietary antioxidant flavonoids and risk of coronary heart disease: the Zutphen Elderly Study. Lancet 342:1007–1011CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Holland B, Agyei D, Akanbi TO, Wang B, Barrow CJ (2017) Bioprocessing of plant-derived bioactive phenolic compounds. Eng Life Sci 13:26–38Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Anthony F, Edmond R, Christian RMS (2008) Is the in vitro antioxidant potential of whole-grain cereals and cereal products well reflected in vivo. J Cereal Sci 48:258–276CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Hegde PS, Rajasekaran NS, Chandra TS (2005) Effects of the antioxidant properties of millet species on oxidative stress and glycemic status in alloxan-induced rats. Nutr Res 25:1109–1120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Chandrasekara A, Shahidi F (2011) Determination of antioxidant activity in free and hydrolyzed fractions of millet grains and characterization of their phenolic profiles by HPLC-DAD-ESI-MS. J Funct Foods 3:144–158CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    El Hag ME, El Tinay AH, Yousif NE (2002) Effect of fermentation and dehulling on starch, total polyphenols, phytic acid content and in vitro protein digestibility of pearl millet. Food Chem 77:193–196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Kim JY, Jang KC, Park BR, Han SI, Choi KJ, Kim SY et al (2011) Physicochemical and antioxidative properties of selected barnyard millet (Echinochloa utilis) species in Korea. Food Sci Biotechnol 20:461–469CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Pawar VD, Machewad GM (2006) Processing of foxtail millet for improved nutrient availability. J Food Process Preserv 30:269–279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Okwudili UH, Gyebi DK, Obiefuna JAI, Okwudili UH, Gyebi DK, Obiefuna JAI (2017) Finger millet bioactive compounds, bioaccessibility, and potential health effects – a review. Czech J Food Sci 35:7–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Salar RK, Purewal SS (2017) Phenolic content, antioxidant potential and DNA damage protection of pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) cultivars of North Indian region. J Food Meas Charact 11:126–133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Fardet A (2015) A shift toward a new holistic paradigm will help to preserve and better process grain products’ food structure for improving their health effects. Food Funct 6:363–382CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Rohn S, Rawel HM, Kroll J (2002) Inhibitory effects of plant phenols on the activity of selected enzymes. J Agric Food Chem 50:3566–3571CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Bailey CJ (2003) New approaches to the pharmacotherapy of diabetes. In: Textbook of diabetes, pp 73–71Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Chethan S, Dharmesh SM, Malleshi NG (2008) Inhibition of aldose reductase from cataracted eye lenses by finger millet (Eleusine coracana) polyphenols. Bioorg Med Chem 16:10085CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Paola V, Aurora N, Vincenzo F (2008) Cereal dietary fibre: a natural functional ingredient to deliver phenolic compounds into the gut. Trends Food Sci Technol 19:451–463CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Maggi-Capeyron MF, Ceballos P, Cristol JP, Delbosc S, Le DC, Pons M et al (2001) Wine phenolic antioxidants inhibit AP-1 transcriptional activity. J Agric Food Chem 49:5646–5652CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Borneo R, León AE (2012) Whole grain cereals: functional components and health benefits. Food Funct 3:110–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Slavin J, Tucker M, Harriman C, Jonnalagadda SS (2014) Whole grains: definition, dietary recommendations, and health benefits. Cereal Foods World 58:191–198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Gopirajah R, Anandharamakrishnan C (2016) Advancement of imaging and modeling techniques for understanding gastric physical forces on food. Food Eng Rev 8:1–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Witt T, Stokes JR (2015) Physics of food structure breakdown and bolus formation during oral processing of hard and soft solids. Curr Opin Food Sci 3:110–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Bhattarai RR, Dhital S, Mense A, Gidley MJ, Shi YC (2018) Intact cellular structure in cereal endosperm limits starch digestion in vitro. Food Hydrocoll 81:139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Dhital S, Bhattarai RR, Gorham J, Gidley MJ (2016) Intactness of cell wall structure controls the in vitro digestion of starch in legumes. Food Funct 7:1367CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Topping DL, Clifton PM (2001) Short-chain fatty acids and human colonic function: roles of resistant starch and nonstarch polysaccharides. Physiol Rev 81:1031–1064CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Finkel T, Holbrook NJ (2000) Oxidants, oxidative stress and the biology of ageing. Nature 408:239CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Chandrasekara A, Shahidi F (2011) Inhibitory activities of soluble and bound millet seed phenolics on free radicals and reactive oxygen species. J AgricFood Chem 59:428–436CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Abdelwahab MH, Elmahdy MA, Abdellah MF, Helal GK, Khalifa F, Hamada FM (2003) Influence of p-coumaric acid on doxorubicin-induced oxidative stress in rat’s heart. Pharmacol Res 48:461–465CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Cheng CY, Su SY, Tang NY, Ho TY, Chiang SY, Hsieh CL (2008) Ferulic acid provides neuroprotection against oxidative stress-related apoptosis after cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury by inhibiting ICAM-1 mRNA expression in rats. Brain Res 1209:136–150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Perluigi M, Joshi G, Sultana R, Calabrese V, De MC, Coccia R et al (2010) In vivo protective effects of ferulic acid ethyl ester against amyloid-beta peptide 1-42-induced oxidative stress. J Neurosci Res 84:418–426CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Picone P, Bondi ML, Picone P, Bondi ML, Montana G, Bruno A et al (2009) Ferulic acid inhibits oxidative stress and cell death induced by Ab oligomers: Improved delivery by solid lipid nanoparticles. Free Radic Res 43:1133–1145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Prasad NR, Ramachandran S, Pugalendi KV, Menon VP (2007) Ferulic acid inhibits UV-B–induced oxidative stress in human lymphocytes. Nutr Res 27:559–564CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Prince PSM, Roy AJ (2013) p-Coumaric acid attenuates apoptosis in isoproterenol-induced myocardial infarcted rats by inhibiting oxidative stress. Int J Cardiol 168:3259–3266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Pradeep PM, Sreerama YN (2015) Impact of processing on the phenolic profiles of small millets: evaluation of their antioxidant and enzyme inhibitory properties associated with hyperglycemia. Food Chem 169:455–463CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Songréouattara LT, Mouquetrivier C, Icardvernière C, Rochette I, Diawara B, Guyot JP (2009) Potential of amylolytic lactic acid bacteria to replace the use of malt for partial starch hydrolysis to produce African fermented pearl millet gruel fortified with groundnut. Int J Food Microbiol 130:258–264CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Khetarpaul N, Chauhan BM (1989) Effect of germination and pure culture fermentation on HCl-extractability of minerals of pearl millet (Pennisetum typhoideum). Int J Food Sci Technol 24:327–331CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    Rao MVSSTS, Muralikrishna G (2002) Evaluation of the antioxidant properties of free and bound phenolic acids from native and malted finger millet (ragi, Eleusine coracana Indaf-15). J Agric Food Chem 50:889–892CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    Archana, Sehgal S, Kawatra A (1998) Reduction of polyphenol and phytic acid content of pearl millet grains by malting and blanching. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 53:93–98CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Taylor JR, Duodu KG (2015) Effects of processing sorghum and millets on their phenolic phytochemicals and the implications of this to the health-enhancing properties of sorghum and millet food and beverage products. J Sci Food Agric 95:225CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    Nithya KS, Ramachandramurty B, Krishnamoorthy VV (2007) Effect of processing methods on nutritional and anti-nutritional qualities of hybrid (COHCU-8) and traditional (CO7) pearl millet varieties of India. J Biol Sci 7:643–647CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. 62.
    Mvsst SR, Muralikrishna G (2001) Non-starch polysaccharides and bound phenolic acids from native and malted finger millet (ragi, Eleusine coracana, Indaf – 15). Food Chem 72:187–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. 63.
    Zhang LZ, Liu RH (2015) Phenolic and carotenoid profiles and antiproliferative activity of foxtail millet. Food Chem 174:495–501CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. 64.
    Kheterpaul N, Chauhan BM (1991) Effect of natural fermentation on phytate and polyphenolic content and in-vitro digestibility of starch and protein of pearl millet (Pennisetum typhoideum). J Sci Food Agric 55:189–195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. 65.
    Mohamed EA, Ali NA, Ahmed SH, Ahmed IAM, Babiker EE (2010) Effect of refrigeration process on antinutrients and HCl extractability of calcium, phosphorus and iron during processing and storage of two millet cultivars. Radiat Phys Chem 79:791–796Google Scholar
  66. 66.
    Shobana S, Malleshi NG (2007) Preparation and functional properties of decorticated finger millet (Eleusine coracana). J Food Eng 79:529–538CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. 67.
    Chandrasekara A, Naczk M, Shahidi F (2012) Effect of processing on the antioxidant activity of millet grains. Food Chem 133:1–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. 68.
    Towo EE, Svanberg U, Ndossi GD (2003) Effect of grain pre-treatment on different extractable phenolic groups in cereals and legumes commonly consumed in Tanzania. J Sci Food Agric 83:980–986CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Taiwo O. Akanbi
    • 1
  • Yakindra Timilsena
    • 2
  • Sushil Dhital
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Centre for Chemistry and BiotechnologyDeakin UniversityGeelongAustralia
  2. 2.NSW Department of Primary IndustriesYanco Agricultural InstituteYancoAustralia
  3. 3.ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls, Centre for Nutrition and Food Sciences, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food InnovationThe University of QueenslandSt LuciaAustralia

Personalised recommendations