Fanny Coffigniez;Michael Rychlik;Christian Mestres;Lisa Striegel;Philippe Bohuon;Aurélien Briffaz
Folate is a fundamental vitamin for metabolism in plants and humans. A modelling approach has been developed to characterize the reactivity of folates in cowpea seeds during germination at 30?°C, using a water-to-seed ratio of 1:1 (w/w). For this purpose, the concentrations of folic acid, 10-formylfolic acid, 5-methyltetrahydrofolate, 5-formyltetrahydrofolate and tetrahydrofolate were determined in seeds during germination times up to 96?h. Two reaction models were sequentially built and adjusted to experimental data to describe changes in concentration in cowpea seed during two germination phases: before 14?h and after 48?h. Results showed intense enzymatic interconversion of all folate vitamers into 5-methyltetrahydrofolate before 14?h of germination and high enzymatic production of 5-methyltetrahydrofolate, 5-formyltetrahydrofolate and tetrahydrofolate after 48?h of germination. This study suggests that a long germination process could be more beneficial than soaking to increase the production of bioavailable folates within the seed for human consumption.