Antinutrients

Phytic acid and phytates are antinutrients that are found in all cereals. They reduce mineral availability

(see above). Tannins are polyphenolic compounds that are found in most cereals. Tannins can bind to protein, reducing its digestibility. Tannins can also inhibit the activity of digestive enzymes. In addition, cereals contain specific protease inhibitors, but the levels are low in comparison with those found in some seed legumes. The tannins and protease inhibitors are unlikely to have any significant adverse effects in human nutrition. However, pearl millet contains phenolic flavonoids, which have been implicated in the onset of goitre, a symptom of iodine deficiency.

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