Glabrous canaryseeds were recently approved for human consumption as a novel cereal grain in Canada and the United States. Previously, canaryseeds were exclusively used as birdseed due to the presence of carcinogenic silica fibers; therefore the nutritional value of the seeds has been seriously overlooked. Two cultivars of glabrous canaryseeds (yellow and brown) were created from the hairy varieties. They are high in protein compared to other cereal grains, and contain high amounts of tryptophan, an amino acid normally lacking in cereals, and are gluten-free. Bioactive peptides of canaryseeds produced by in vitro gastrointestinal digestion have shown antioxidant, antidiabetic, and antihypertensive activity. The seeds contain other constituents with health promoting effects, including unsaturated fatty acids, minerals, and phytochemicals. Anti-nutritional components in the seeds are comparable to other cereal grains. Because of their beneficial health effects, canaryseeds should be regarded as a healthy food and have immense potential as a functional food and ingredient. Further research is required to determine additional bioactive peptide activity and capacity, as well as differences between the yellow and brown cultivars.
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