The cultivation of wheat (Triticum spp. L.) has been on for thousands of years and is commonly used in animal feed and human food in many regions of Turkey. Therefore, wheat is considered to be one of the most important grain cereals in Turkey. Wheat germ is another important by-product of the wheat milling industry constituting relatively small amount of the whole wheat grain by volume. However, the wheat germ is an important nutritional natural resource, which contains important fatty acids and minerals. Both the wheat germ and wheat germ oil are usually utilized in food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries increasingly, today. In this study, both the distribution of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids and the mineral contents of wheat germ of the Turkish samples were reported. The fatty acids were analyzed after Soxhlet extraction and derivatization by gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy (GC/MS), whereas the mineral contents were analyzed by various techniques, such as N being determined by the dry combustion method using elemental analyses, P measured by a colorimetric method, whereas K and Na was measured by flame photometry. Finally, the elements Ca, Mg, Fe, Cu, Zn and Mn were detected and quantified by atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS), respectively. The compositions were 19.9% saturated fatty acid and 80.1% of unsaturated fatty acids. The major components of the germ oil were identified as linoleic acid (56.1%), palmitic acid (17.4%) and oleic acid (17.4%).
Key words: Triticum spp, wheat germ oil, fatty acids, elements and minerals, gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy (GC/MS), atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS).
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