Mustard grains are known for centuries as an important commercially condiment in all of the world with a huge variety of use and applications. Our research group has been studying this promising grain to improve its biological properties. To begin, choosing the best solvent combination to recover phenolic compounds with antioxidant activity potential was encouraged. We reported for the first time an optimization study for recovery of phenolic compounds from mustard grains in order to obtain extracts with better antioxidant properties. Continuing studies, germination was chosen as a natural process due the actual tendency to valorize the spontaneous process and knowing that the germination is an efficient and economical process that promotes dynamic and complex positive changes in bioactive compounds and nutritional quality of grains. The main questions raised in our research were: How could we germinate mustard grains since changes during the process are peculiar for each grain? How germination affects the antioxidant potential and phenolic compounds composition? So, the first step was to analyze different germination parameters correlated with antioxidant potential. Also, to better understand those complex transformations, our research group investigate how the variation of free and insoluble-bound phenolics affected the antioxidant properties of mustard grains when submitted to different germination parameters. The identification of the bioactive compounds by chromatography techniques was also important to the final discussion. Given the positive results obtained, we can conclude that germinated mustard grains have the potential for application as a functional and nutraceutical food.
Gabriela is a second year PhD student in Food Science at University of Campinas. She receives her master degree in Food Science at the same University (2019) under supervision of Prof. Dr. Ruann Janser Soares de Castro. The title of her research was “Mustard grains as source of compounds with antioxidant properties: a study based on germination, extraction and identification processes”. Since them, her research focus is on mustard grains germination and their biochemical transformations linked to the functional properties. Gabriela graduated in Food Science at University of São Paulo in 2016 with an exchange period of 11 months in France, Bordeaux at Bordeaux Science Agro with an internship at Science Institute of Vine and Wine (Institut des Sciences de la Vigne et du Vin) for 8 weeks.