Background: Deficiency of essential minerals is a widespread nutritional disorder in
the world, particularly in developing economies. Poor mineral accessibility from
foods is a major contributing factor to deficiency and associated health problems.
This study investigated the effect of malting on minerals, phytic acid, and physicochemical properties of finger millet varieties. Sorghum was used as external reference. Mineral composition was analyzed using an inductively coupled plasma atomic
emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES) and mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS).
Results: Data showed that finger millet is rich in macroelements and trace elements.
Malting for 24 hr reduced mineral content of the grains except sodium. Increase in
the minerals was observed beyond 48 hr of malting particularly at 96 hr. Successive
decrease in phytic acid of the grains was not observed with malting time. Malting did
not result in any significant change in the physicochemical properties of the grains.
Conclusion: ICP-AES/MS showed that finger millet contain a variety of minerals in
amounts that were not previously reported, and malting the grain for 72 to 96 hr
positively affected the minerals. Changes in phytic acid suggest that phytate undergoes dissociation during malting rather than a degradation of phytic acid. Potential
exists for utilization of finger millet as functional ingredient to augment important
minerals in weaning, geriatric, and adult foods for health promotion.