Researchers at South Dakota State University in Brookings will seek ways to develop new products with oats by improving the quality of oats grown in North America.
“Our goal is to take the oats beyond the breakfast aisle,” says Padu Krishnan, Ph.D., a professor in the university’s Department of Dairy and Food Science.
Graduate students already are developing an oat beverage, incorporating oat flour into Asian noodles and using oats as a thickener for products, including soup.
“We are talking about a whole host of new oat products that are high in beta-glucan,” Dr. Krishnan says.
Dr. Krishnan has received a three-year National Institute of Food and Agriculture grant of nearly $450,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Melanie Caffé, an oat breeder at the university, is co-principal investigator. She and Dr. Krishnan worked together on a previous U.S.D.A. grant designed to speed up the oats breeding process and develop cultivars higher in beta-glucan.
Dr. Krishnan and graduate student Devendra Paudel also developed a near-infrared spectrometer (N.I.R.S.) calibration to quantify beta-glucan content in oat samples. The new funding from the U.S.D.A. will allow the researchers to improve the calibration.
“We can build predictive calibrations, new parental lines and research tools that can be used to develop oat varieties specific to our region,” Dr. Krishnan says.
General Mills, Inc., Minneapolis, relocated its oats breeding program to Brookings in 2016, in part to collaborate with South Dakota State University researchers.