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ABSTRACT: Cereal Chern. 82(3):242-245 Policosanols. long-chained alcohols. have been reported to have bene-ficial physiological activities. Content and composition of policosanols in wax-like materials extracted from selected cereals of Korean origin were determined. Wax-like materials were extracted using hot hexane. Yields of wax-like materials from unpolished grain sorghum, polished grain sorghum. brown rice. purple rice, wheat, and maize were 223, 37, 33, 61, Policosanols are a mixture of primary long-chained alcohols and are available commercially as nutritional supplements con-taining mostly octacosanol (28:0), triacontanol (30:0), hex a-cosanol (26:0), and dotriacontanol (32:0). They have been produced from sugar cane, beeswax, and kernels of cereal grains. Polico-sanols have beneficial physiological activities such as improving blood lipid levels (Aruzazabala et al 1994; Kato et al 1995; Gouni-Berthold and Berthold 2002), reducing platelet aggregation (Aruzazabala et al 1996), improving exercise performance of coronary heart disease patients (Sttisser et al 1998), and increasing muscle endurance (Kabir and Kimura 1995). However, Wang et al (2003) reported that policosanols have no significantly favorable effect in changing blood lipid levels of hamsters. Recently, nutri-tional significance and metabolism of policosanols were reviewed by Hargrove et al (2004). Surfaces of kernels of cereal grains are covered with epicuti-cular wax, which appears to regulate the water balance of the parent plant by reducing evaporation to minimize mechanical damage to cells and to inhibit fungal and insect attacks. Bianchi et al (1979) and Avato et al (1990) extracted wax-like materials (WLM) from grain sorghum grown in Italy and reported that the WLM consisted of alcohols (32 and 34%, w/w, db, respectively), otherwise known as policosanols, acids (24 and 27%, respectively), and aldehydes (21 and 32%, respectively), fractionated by column chromatography. Recently, Hwang et al (2002a,b; 2004) confirmed that aldehydes, alcohols (policosanols), and acids were the major components of the WLM extracted from grain sorghum grown in the United States in Nebraska, comprising 46-55% (w/w, db), 37-41 %, and 4-7%, respectively, as determined by HPLC. Other cereal grains have not been studied extensively regarding their policosanol contents. Bianchi et a1 (1984) extracted wax from maize kernels using chloroform, reporting a wax mass of 2.7 mg recovered from 20 hand-harvested and hand-shelled ears. They reported esters comprised 76% (w/w, db) of the wax and alcohols comprised 2 %. According to the study by Kawanishi et al (1991), octacosanol contents in germs of rice, wheat, and maize were 0.46, 0.22, and 0.82 mgll 00 g, respectively. They reported petro-leum ether-extractable materials (including waxes and oils) in the germs, but did not report levels of WLM.