Saint-Hyacinthe Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)
External Funding Partners
This project is part of the $10.3 million Canadian Field Crop Genetics Improvement Cluster funded by the Canadian Field Crop Research Alliance (CFCRA) and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) through the Industry-Led Research and Development Stream of the Growing Forward 2 AgriInnovation Program. Grain Farmers of Ontario is a founding member of the CFCRA.
- Select varieties of soybean, oat, and wheat with high protein quality traits (i.e., high protein and amino acid digestibility and high contents of limiting amino acids) that will meet protein quality claims based on new Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recommendations.
- Study the impact of variety and selected processing treatments on protein and amino acid digestibility using current and revised FAO recommendations for protein quality assessment.
- Identify varieties of soybean, oat, and wheat with bioactive peptide and prebiotic potential that could be marketed for their promotion of digestive health.
- Study the functional properties of varieties with the most promising traits to identify targets for future varietal development.
- New information on the protein quality of Canadian soybean, oat, and wheat varieties based on the new Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations’ recommendation for protein quality assessment.
- The development of specific varieties/market classes of Canadian soybean, oat, and wheat for food uses.
- The improvement of nutritional quality of Canadian soybean, oat, and wheat.
Proteins are part of a balanced diet to promote health and provide all essential amino acids to achieve desired bodily functions. Protein quality is affected by the presence of anti-nutritional factors such as trypsin inhibitors, phytic acid and tannins. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has recently released a new revised protein quality measure for human health called the Digestible Indispensable Amino Acid Score (DIAAS), which is used to assess the nutritional value of a protein by its contribution to amino acid and nitrogen requirements and the amounts of amino acids absorbed by the body. As plant proteins have lower digestibility than animal proteins, this could dramatically change their protein quality rating. Thus detailed assessment of the impact of varietal differences on protein quality and digestibility of Canadian soybean, oat, and wheat using the revised recommendations is warranted in order to inform future varietal development work.
This project will allow high protein quality varieties to be identified for developmental research, with a positive impact on Canadian producers and processors. One of the objectives of this project is to assess the effect of varietal differences of Canadian soybean, oat, and wheat on protein quality and digestibility. Canadian varieties were selected and acquired from breeders. They included cultivars with high and low protein content. A Gene (G) x Environment (E) effect (variety x location) was also considered in the case of oat. In the first stage of this project, the nutritional quality of the selected soybean, oat, and wheat varieties was assessed on the basis of amino acid composition, the digestibility using an in vitro static method, and the calculation of the new DIAAS. In the second stage, selected varieties will be also subjected to in vitro semi dynamic and in vivo protein and an ileal AA digestibility tests. Raw and cooked flours (to simulate processed real-life samples) from the selected varieties will be analysed to assess the impact of processing (thermal treatment) on protein and amino acid digestibility. Their prebiotic and bioactive potential will be also evaluated.
Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 barley, corn, oat, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.