Urbanization, emergence, and prominence of diseases and ailments have led to conscious and deliberate consumption of health beneficial foods. Whole grain (WG) cereals are one type of food with an array of nutritionally important and healthy constituents, including carotenoids, inulin, β-glucan, lignans, vitamin E-related compounds, tocols, phytosterols, and phenolic compounds, which are beneficial for human consumption. They not only provide nutrition, but also confer health promoting effects in food, such as anti-carcinogenic, anti-microbial, and antioxidant properties. Fermentation is a viable processing technique to transform whole grains in edible foods since it is an affordable, less complicated technique, which not only transforms whole grains but also increases nutrient bioavailability and positively alters the levels of health-promoting components (particularly antioxidants) in derived whole grain products. This review addresses the impact of fermentation on phenolic compounds and antioxidant activities with most available studies indicating an increase in these health beneficial constituents. Such increases are mostly due to breakdown of the cereal cell wall and subsequent activities of enzymes that lead to the liberation of bound phenolic compounds, which increase antioxidant activities. In addition to the improvement of these valuable constituents, increasing the consumption of fermented whole grain cereals would be vital for the world’s ever-growing population. Concerted efforts and adequate strategic synergy between concerned stakeholders (researchers, food industry, and government/policy makers) are still required in this regard to encourage consumption and dispel negative presumptions about whole grain foods.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited