Rye bran contains a high amount of phenolic acids with potential health promoting effects. However, due to binding to dietary fibre, the phenolic acids are poorly absorbed in human body. We used bioprocessing with enzymes and yeast to release phenolic acids from the fibre complex and studied the effect of bioprocessing on absorption of phenolic acids in healthy humans. White wheat breads fortified with bioprocessed or native rye bran, and wholegrain rye bread and white wheat bread as controls were served to 15 subjects in a randomized order in the cross-over design. Urine was collected at the basal state and over 24 hours in four-, eight-, and twelve-hour periods and analyzed for phenolic acids and their metabolites with gas chromatography. A total of six blood samples were taken over four hours to study the effect of the bread ingestion on postprandial glucose and insulin responses. Bioprocessing of rye bran increased the proportion of free ferulic acid (FA) and soluble arabinoxylan in the bread. Ingestion of the white wheat bread fortified with bioprocessed rye bran increased (p < 0.001) urinary excretion of FA particularly during the first four hours, indicating increased absorption of FA from the small intestine. The postprandial glucose and insulin responses were similar between these breads. Bioprocessing of rye bran did not affect excretion of benzoic, phenylpropionic, and phenylacetic acid metabolites. As a conclusion, bioprocessed rye bran as compared with native rye bran increased absorption of FA from the small intestine, but did not improve postprandial glucose and insulin responses.
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