The effect of heat treatment and particle size of bran on mineral absorption in rats

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The effect of heat treatment of bran on the true zinc absorption was measured using an isotope-dilution technique. A bran-based breakfast cereal (heated to 204 degrees for 40 min during manufacture) was incorporated into a semi-synthetic diet at a level of 180 g/kg. A parallel diet was formulated containing an identical weight of untreated bran from the same source plus other ingredients used to make the cereal. 2. Young male Wistar rats (mean weight 80 g) were injected intramuscularly with 65Zn to label body Zn. They were given the heat-treated- and untreated-bran diets for 9 d. During the last 6 d of this period Zn intakes and faecal and urinary Zn were measured in order to calculate apparent Zn retention. True Zn retention was measured by taking into account losses of Zn of endogenous origin (labelled with 65Zn), by measuring faecal and urinary radioactivity of endogenous origin. 3. Heat treatment of bran removed approximately one-third of the phytate, but this was not enough to improve Zn absorption from the diet. True Zn retention measured by isotope dilution was significantly higher (P less than 0.02) than apparent Zn retention measured by the conventional balance technique. 4. The hypothesis that a reduction in particle size of bran would improve mineral availability was tested by feeding coarse and milled bran (100 mg/kg diet) in a semi-synthetic diet to rats and measuring true Fe and apparent Zn absorptions. The importance of phytate was also investigated by feeding a diet containing dephytinized bran. 5. Male Wistar rats (mean weight 172 g) were given diets containing coarse, milled or dephytinized bran for 9 d. Fe and Zn intakes were measured and faeces and urine collected for Fe and Zn analysis. 6. Rhe mean (+/- SE) particle size of the bran was reduced on milling from 3.5 (+/- 1.8) to 0.2-0.5 mm. There were no differences in the fraction of Fe retained between the three groups. Particle size had a small effect on Zn retention which was marginally higher in rats on the milled-bran diet (0.126 (+/- 0.023)) than in those on the coarse-bran diet (0.087 (+/- 0.012)). Total removal of phytate had a greater effect and apparent Zn retention from the dephytinized-bran diet was significantly higher (0.182 (+/- 0.027), P less than 0.001).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-75
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1982


  • Animals
  • Cereals
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Hot Temperature
  • Intestinal Absorption
  • Iron
  • Male
  • Particle Size
  • Phytic Acid
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Zinc

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