Identification of Bioactive Peptides from Cereal Storage Proteins and Their Potential Role in Prevention of Chronic Diseases

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Cereal grains, such as wheat, barley, rice, rye, oat, millet, sorghum, and corn, have been staples in human diets since ancient times. At present, there is a significant body of scientific evidence showing the health benefits of consuming whole grains in chronic disease prevention, particularly in regards to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. The objective was to determine bioactive peptides in cereal grains that may prevent cardiovascular disease, cancer, inflammation, and diabetes. Bioactive peptides that may be obtained from cereal grains, particularly wheat, oat, barley, and rice, were identified. Bioactive peptides that play a role in chronic disease prevention have been found primarily in legumes and dairy products; although research connecting cereal grains with potential bioactive peptide activity is limited. In this review, 4 cereal grains, wheat, oat, barley, and rice, were evaluated for bioactive peptide potential using the BIOPEP database. In addition, research information was compiled for each grain regarding evidence about the effect of their proteins in prevention of chronic diseases. All 4 grains showed high occurrence frequencies of angiotensin-converting enzyme-inhibitor peptides (A = 0.239 to 0.511), as well as of dipeptidyl peptidase-inhibitor and antithrombotic, antioxidant, hypotensive, and opioid activity. Wheat and rice proteins had anticancer sequences present. Wheat and barley showed the greatest diversity and abundance of potential biological activity among the cereal proteins. Further research needs to be conducted to learn how these biologically active peptide sequences are released from cereal grains. This study supports the notion that cereal grains are a nutritious part of a healthy diet by preventing chronic diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)364-380
Number of pages17
JournalComprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science


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