AURI Hosts Live Webinar on Improving Wheat Digestibility
June 29, 2020
Discussion will focus on the health and economic benefits of wheat varieties and processing techniques
The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) will host a live webinar from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 8, to describe a multi-year research project on enhancing wheat product digestibility and consumption.
The discussion will be presented by Dr. James Anderson, a professor of wheat breeding and genetics at the University of Minnesota, and Dr. George Annor, an assistant professor of cereal chemistry at the University of Minnesota’s Department of Food Science and Nutrition.
Anti-nutrients such as FODMAPS and trypsin inhibitors found in wheat can trigger digestibility issues like irritable bowel syndrome. Researchers are working to identify tactics to reduce wheat digestibility concerns that will both improve the quality of life for those who suffer from sensitivity issues, and positively benefit the state’s agricultural economy. Reducing the discomforts from the consumption of wheat-based products is critical in improving the health of many consumers and increasing the profitability of Minnesota wheat farmers.
As part of their work, Anderson and Annor will study two primary options to enhance wheat digestibility: breeding new wheat varieties that have naturally occurring low anti-nutrient elements and using new processing techniques to reduce gluten proteins. They will discuss the project’s preliminary findings during the live session.
“Sensitivity to wheat products has been a growing concern for many people. For these individuals, identifying wheat products that are more easily digested can increase quality of life while still enjoying the health benefits of wheat,” said Shannon Schlecht, AURI’s executive director. “This research could make a meaningful impact on the wheat industry overall—from the farmer to the bread processor to the consumer. We look forward to hosting this discussion.”
Anderson and Annor’s research is funded through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Growth, Research and Innovation Grant.
The July 8 session is part of AURI’s new virtual educational series, “AURI Connects: Webinar Wednesdays.” Throughout 2020, AURI is hosting monthly, live seminars to provide informative and timely content on value-added agriculture to a wide audience of interested parties. The series will also highlight AURI’s work driving economic development and innovation throughout Minnesota and the Midwest region. Each session explores different aspects of the food and ag sectors— from resources for food entrepreneurs, to innovations in co-products and bio-based energy.
More information on the series and how to register is available on AURI’s website.
The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute’s mission is to foster long-term economic benefit through value-added agricultural products. It accomplishes this by using science and technology to help develop new uses for agricultural products. It partners with businesses and entrepreneurs to generate economic impact in Minnesota communities by helping businesses take advantage of innovative opportunities in four focus areas: bio-based products, renewable energy, co-products and food. AURI provides a broad range of services, including applied research and development, scientific assistance and a targeted network of resources to develop value-added uses for crops and co-products.