β-glucans and their significance for the preparation of functional foods – a review

https://doi.org/10.17221/162/2009-CJFSCitation:Havrlentová M., Petruláková Z., Burgárová A., Gago F., Hlinková A., Šturdík E. (2011): β-glucans and their significance for the preparation of functional foods – a review. Czech J. Food Sci., 29: 1-14.
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Cereals are generally known to have a positive influence on the general state of the human organism. The attention of the nutritional experts is paid especially to oats and barley. Besides their accessibility, these cereals are interesting due to their relatively high contents of soluble non-starch polysaccharides (fibrous material), out of which β-glucans have a dominant position from the aspect of health benefit. This paper presents a brief review of the latest knowledge on the positive effects of β-glucans on the consumer's health. The structure, occurrence, sources, and positive physiological effects of β-glucans on the cardiovascular system but also their antibacterial, antitumoral, immunomodulant, and radioprotective properties are mentioned. In the paper are given examples of β-glucans exploitation as functional ingredients in food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries and as food additives on the basis of cereal fibres and cereal β-glucans.
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