The effect of electron beam irradiation on β-glucan content, X-ray diffraction of starch, protein subunit patterns, and in vivo digestibility of barley grain in cockerels


Abstract: This study was carried out to evaluate the effect of electron beam radiation on the chemical composition, the \beta-glucan content, the water extract viscosity, the crystallinity of starch, the patterns of protein subunits, and the in vivo digestibility of barley grain. Barley samples were irradiated at doses of 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 kGy under the electron beam. In a completely randomized design, cockerels were fed raw or irradiated samples to determine the digestibility of crude protein and gross energy. Irradiation had no effect on the total contents of protein, starch, and \beta-glucan. At doses of 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 kGy, electron beam irradiation decreased the water extract viscosity of samples by 41%, 49%, 57%, 66%, and 78%; decreased the crystallinity of starch by 4%, 6%, 12%, 26%, and 27%; and increased the surface hydrophobicity of protein by 3%, 20%, 35%, 67%, and 80%, respectively. In vivo digestibility of energy and protein increased as irradiation dose increased. Therefore, electron beam irradiation of barley results in a better nutritional quality in respect to an increase in the bioavailability of its components.

Keywords: Barley grain, cockerels, viscosity, ionizing irradiation, starch crystallinity

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