Research Projects

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Research Topic: Oat Breeding

  • Project Status: Completed
  • Abstract/Summary: The objective of this project was to demonstrate how seedling vigour of oats can be improved by screening out smaller less vigorous seed. Increasing the average seed size of a seed lot should result in greater emergence, improved stand establishment, greater competitiveness against wild oats, earlier maturity and greater yield.
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Research Topic: Oat Breeding

  • Project Status: In Progress
  • Principal Investigators: Prairie Oat Breeding Consortium (POBC)
  • Project Dates: April 2018 –March 2023
  • Abstract/Summary: The objective of the Prairie Oat Breeding Consortium (POBC) is to develop new oat cultivars suited to production in western Canada and to end use markets identified by the Prairie Oat Growers Association (POGA) and the milling industry. The cultivars developed will have end-use quality identified as important by the industry and will carry genetic resistance to major diseases, pests, and adverse environmental conditions prevalent in the planned production areas.
    The development of cultivars that are genetically resistant to pests and adaptable to various climatic conditionswill help producers be more resilient by reducing the cost of growing oats, the fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions, and the amount of pesticides used in oat production.
    Risks to oat producers and the oat processing industry will be reduced by oat cultivars that perform better agronomically, are resistant to pests and produce reliably healthy products for human and animal consumption, in Canada and around the world.
    Project partners includeAgriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Austgrains, FP Genetics, General Mills, Grain Millers Canada, Emerson Milling, SeCan, Richardson International, and POGA.
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Research Topic: Nutrition/Product Creation

  • Project Status: In Progress
  • Principal Investigators: Dr. Lingyun Chen at the University of Alberta
  • Project Dates: March 2021 – Feb 2023
  • Abstract/Summary: The 2016-2019 project focused on the development of a ready-to-drink oat-based beverage that is fortified with omegas, vitamin D, and other nutritional ingredients that are essential to the diet of cancer patients.

    This project is a continuation of Dr. Chen’s previous work to address industry interest in using fractionated oat ingredients as a source of food product innovation. Research indicates that from a diabetic management perspective, a mere 1% decrease in glucose levels among diabetics can lead to a 21% decrease in death and a 37% decrease in heart attacks. Therefore, developing convenient diabetic-friendly drinks can help reduce the cost of treating people in Canada.

    The specific objectives in the next two years are to:
    1. Study competitive advantages of Canadian oats for development of healthy oat milk products; special emphasis will be placed on oat varieties that are high in yield, protein and beta-glucan.
    2. Optimize processing to enhance recovery of oat nutritional components into a nutritionally enhanced oat milk drink with significantly improved protein and beta-glucan content.
    3. Study peptides with anti-diabetic effects from oat protein for functional oat drink development and evaluate the drink hypoglycemic effect through in vivo test in diabetic animal model.
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Research Topic: Oat Breeding

  • Project Status: In Progress
  • Principal Investigators: Dr. Aaron Beattie, Crop Development Centre (CDC) - Saskatoon, SK
  • Project Dates: April 2019 –March 2024
  • Abstract/Summary: Oat is considered a healthy cereal due to a number of nutritional compounds found within the grain, including beta-glucan. Beta-glucan is a soluble fiber that has been shown to lower plasma cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Oat grain also contains a number of antioxidant compounds, including the polyphenolic avenanthramides, which have anti- inflammatory effects. Oat contains 12-20% protein which is rich in globulins and contains more lysine and threonine than other cereals and provides a better balance of essential amino acids.

    Oats is able to be consumed by most people suffering from celiac disease and is thus considered to be gluten-free. As a result of these desirable attributes, oats remain a significant Canadian crop.

    To build on Saskatchewan’s (and Canada’s) position as a supplier of premium quality oats to current and developing markets, requires developing varieties with improved agronomic, quality and disease resistance.

    The CDC is exploring new traits for incorporation into future Canadian oat varieties that may add value to the crop.
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Research Topic: Marketing

Keep It Clean Cereals (KIC)

  • Project Status: In Progress
  • Abstract/Summary: Keep It Clean Cereals (KIC) is a program that shows Canada’s commitment to delivering consistently superior agricultural products to markets around the world. Keep it Clean is an established program started by the Canola Council of Canada and expanded with Cereals Canada, Barley Council of Canada and POGA to share best practices required for export-quality cereals and canola. The overall goal of the KIC program is to help prevent market access issues and maintain Canada’s international reputation for reliability and quality. Each importing country has different standards and qualities that must be met for that market. The KIC program best management practices checklist contains five items, accompanied by explanations of each item. This list was created to be used by growers, but it also serves as the Canadian value chain’s commitment to quality, cleanliness, and consistency.
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