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Tech. Q. Master Brew. Assoc. Am., 1996, 33(4), 236-240.

NMR imaging of water uptake and diffusion in barley.

Yin, X.S., Kendall, E.J., Fernets, W.J., Laycock, G.S., Abrams, G.D. and Abrams, S.R.

The use of high resolution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) imaging to study the uptake of moisture by barley and its subsequent diffusion through the grain over the course of the steeping process is described. In an investigation into the effects on endosperm hydration of various barley characteristics, it was found that the moisture content of the steeped grain was significantly negatively influenced by grain size, while protein content and germinative energy also had slight but perceptible effects. The NMR images showed that water is at first preferentially taken up in the scutellar region, with a lag period before the hydration of the proximal endosperm begins. It is postulated that the water may initially be utilized in metabolic processes in the scutellum and embryo before being redistributed to the endosperm and other tissues. Evidence that air rests during steeping accelerate the metabolic rate of the barley, and thus the hydration of its endosperm, has been found.
Keywords : absorption analysis barley endosperm malting measurement moisture content NMR spectroscopy steeping water