Bioactive compounds, nutritional benefits and food applications of colored wheat: a comprehensive review

Praveen Saini, Nitin Kumar, Sunil Kumar, Peter Waboi Mwaurah, Anil Panghal, Arun Kumar Attkan, Vijay Kumar Singh, Mukesh Kumar Garg, Vijay Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The consumers’ demands have changed from energy providing diet to a diet with a balanced nutrient profile along with metabolic, physiological and functional health benefits. They are seeking colorants derived from natural sources to enhance the nutritional and antioxidant value of foods. Colored wheat (Triticum aestivum) contains many phytochemicals, responsible for numerous health benefits. Colored wheat (blue, black, purple and red) contains a good amount of anthocyanins and carotenoids that are primarily located in the outer aleurone layer. Food regulatory and safety authorities and food processing industries are trying to minimize the usage of synthetic food colorants and dyes. Colored wheat is imperative for food processing industries as high-value pigments present in the bran layer (milling industry co-product) can easily be extracted and utilized as functional foods and natural colorants. The extracted pigments such as anthocyanin can replace synthetic dyes currently used in food, drug and cosmetics. Additionally, natural additives improve the nutritional value, appearance, texture, flavor, and storage properties of food products. This review presents a brief knowledge of the nutritional composition of colored wheat including phytochemicals and bioactive compounds like flavonoids, phenolic compounds, their health benefits, methods and technologies used for processing and extraction as well as the effects of processing on these compounds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalCritical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
StatePublished - 2020


  • Anthocyanins
  • Bioactive compounds
  • Colored wheat
  • Health benefits
  • Natural colorants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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