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Grains of the future

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WHAT if eating bread could help diabetes, if breakfast cereal could help fight cholesterol? Imagine food tailored to your bodies needs.

These are just some of the issues Dr Jan Mahoney, CEO, Grain Foods CRC Ltd, will be addressing when she speaks at the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology Inc (AIFST)’s 38th Annual Convention in Sydney from 10 to 13 July.

Dr Mahoney will take us on a trip to the future when she explains how Grain Foods CRC is combining genomics and applications technology to develop new products to differentiate the Australian grains industry and to drive prosperity along the value chain into the future.

“I’ll be focussing on the whole grain, the various fractions and many compounds produced by grains. Grains have healthy, disease fighting compounds such as anti-cancer compounds. I’ll be discussing how we can naturally fortify food by increasing the nutritious components in grains and pulses,” Dr Mahoney said.

“Whilst organic food may have less residues, it won’t feed the world. We’re looking to marry the best of everything - how to capture the goodness of natural whole foods and integrate it into the modern food system.

“Over 80% of the bread market is sliced white bread; we can make it healthier by combining the beneficial components of grains and pulses into the bread without changing the texture or flavour of the bread.”

And bread is not the only product that can provide healthy benefits with the addition of grains and pulses. Dr Mahoney says a range of consumables from noodles to even beer can be fortified by certain components of grains to provide a more nutritious product to the consumer.

“Australia has terrific research and development and a competitive advantage of skilful producers and manufacturers. We are trying to make reaping health benefits convenient, not only for the consumer but for the growers and manufacturers as well.”

Dr Mahoney is one of two speakers in a session called Biotechnology – on the farm at 4.15 pm Wednesday 13 July.

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