In the past, a challenge for grain processors has been the cost-effective isolation of that valuable fraction of grain, the aleurone. Aleurones are the protein granules found in the endosperm layer of grains. Cargill Inc. and Cenex Harvest States Horizon Milling venture has yielded GrainWise Wheat Aleurone. The product is an innovative, all natural ingredient food manufacturers can use to add the healthy benefits of whole grain nutrition to foods, while preserving more of the sensory qualities of foods made from enriched white flour.
The highly valued aleurone layer the "best of the bran," where most of the desirable whole-wheat nutrients are concentrated gives GrainWise Wheat Aleurone a nutrient profile of 45 percent dietary fiber with higher levels of most bran nutrients. This makes the ingredient a concentrated source of essential vitamins, including B6, niacin and E (tocopherols and tocotrienals), and the minerals potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc and selenium (also an antioxidant). It also includes most major antioxidants and many phytochemicals.
What GrainWise Wheat Aleurone has less of is pigment. That, and a neutral flavor impact means processors can incorporate the ingredient into foods at higher levels than full bran and use it as an effective substitute for a portion of the enriched white flour in formulations.
Inclusion of GrainWise Wheat Aleurone at a level of 20 percent yields a nutrition profile similar to whole wheat, yet preserves soft texture, high volume, mild taste and light color found in typical baked food products such as bread, buns, pasta and cereal yet raises fiber content high enough to permit fiber-content claims on labels.