American researchers have found that wild wheat contains a "nutrient" gene that, if properly cultivated, can be used to increase the protein, zinc, and iron content of wheat and provide humans with a more nutritious food source. But in artificially cultivated wheat, this magical "nutrient" gene is lost for some unclear reason.

A team led by Jorge Dubuchevski, a researcher at the University of California, Davis, found that they used conventional methods of growing wheat to transfer this “nutrition” gene to a variety of cultivated wheat to achieve enhanced The purpose of wheat in protein, zinc, iron content.

The researchers also found that wheat grown with the new method matures faster and the nutritional value of wheat flour finished products is higher. Global wheat production is 620 million tons per year. Pasta and bread made from this new wheat, where the protein and micronutrient content is increased by 10% to 15%, its taste remains unchanged.

American researchers have found that wild wheat contains a "nutrient" gene that, if properly cultivated, can be used to increase the protein, zinc, and iron content of wheat and provide humans with a more nutritious food source.

Magical gene

In wild wheat contains a special gene that can increase the nutritional content of cereals.

But strangely, in artificially cultivated wheat, this magical "nutrient" gene is lost for some unclear reason.

A team led by Jorge Dubuchevsky, a researcher at the University of California, Davis, found that they used traditional methods of growing wheat to transfer this “nutritional” gene to a variety of cultivated wheat to enhance wheat The purpose of protein, zinc, iron content. The culturing process uses the ancestors of certain planted wheat species, ie wild wheat.

This discovery was published in the United States "Science" magazine published on the 23rd.

"Transfer" nutrition

Wheat is one of the world's major food crops, accounting for 20% of the total global calorie consumption.

However, according to data provided by the World Health Organization, there are nearly 2 billion people in the world with insufficient intake of zinc and iron in food, and 160 million children under the age of 5 lack sufficient protein.

“We can produce wheat with higher levels of protein, zinc, iron and other nutrients,” said Dubchevski in an interview. “If this technology is applied to food cultivation in developing countries, it can The people in need provide practical help.”

The researchers also found that wheat grown with the new method matures faster and the nutritional value of wheat flour finished products is higher. Global wheat production is 620 million tons per year. Pasta and bread made from this new wheat will have 10% to 15% increase in protein and micronutrient content.

"The gene's efficacy lies in the ability to better extract the nutrients contained in the crop itself," said Dubuchevski, through which the researchers transferred a portion of the nutrients in the straw to the kernels.

The researchers said that they did not change the wheat genes and therefore did not affect the market acceptance of new wheat. "We did not genetically mutate wheat, we used only normal breeding methods, and the new wheat was well-matched to common wheat," Dubchevski said.

Unchanged taste

The improved wheat becomes more nutritious, but its taste remains unchanged.

Dubchevski said that the researchers did not change the taste of wheat during the cultivation process. "We did not make any major changes to the wheat ingredients."

"I think that just such a change will not solve the problem of famine in the world. I am not so naive," Dubchevski added. "But I think this is indeed a good direction."

The team led by Dubchevsky now has 20 public wheat breeding projects, known as the "Cooperative Wheat Agriculture Project." Members of this research team also include researchers from the United States Department of Agriculture and the University of Haifa in Israel.

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