Improve production of minor and pseudo-cereals

1. Introduction of 11 millet and 16 buckwheat varieties from across Europe and North America
2. Characterization of millet and buckwheat varieties according to descriptors (e.g. plant height, growth habitus, flowering time, maturity, thousand seed weight) approved by International Board for Plant Genetic Resources
3. Development of a molecular assay for the assessment of the genetic distance and downstream traceability in millet
4. Production of hybrid populations needed for subsequent breeding in both buckwheat and millet; execution of two cycles of selection in buckwheat
5. Testing of retrieved millet and buckwheat varieties in randomised plot trial in sites located in Friuli Venezia Giulia, South Tyrol and Kärnten in 2017 and 2018
6. Improvement of agronomic practices, with definition of optimal sowing density for yield maximization in buckwheat.
7. Identification of 4 millet varieties with high yield potential (yield > 2000 kg/ha) and of 4 buckwheat varieties with a high yield potential (yield > 1000 kg/ha). Significant yield differences were recorded between the experimental field locations.

Increase nutritional, technological, sensorial properties of millet, buckwheat and oat

1. Detection of significant nutritional, technological and sensorial variation between different varieties of buckwheat, millet and oats cultivated in the various experimental locations
2. Demonstration that most antioxidants are located in the husk of millet and buckwheat, and that decortication, while reducing the total antioxidant capacity, does not impact protein content and amino acid
3. Confirmation that millet holds high levels of essential amino acids, compared to wheat, maize and rice
4. Optimization of analytical protocols for the analysis of selected nutritive parameters of millet, buckwheat and oat using miniaturized equipment
5. Development of innovative milling protocols delivering whole millet flour with increased fibre, protein, Phosphorus and Iron content
6. Set up of a novel buckwheat processing protocol capable of guaranteeing high microbiological purity of the flour
7. Development of oat-containing snack and bread prototypes characterized by their rich nutrient content (high in fibre, protein, minerals) and appealing sensory profile (crumb juiciness, nutty and sweet aroma notes)
8. Use of the 3 grains in different type of foods contributes to a diversified diet from a nutritional and sensorial point of view:
• Rusks/fette biscottate (rich in fibre and source of vitamin E; toasted and cereal flavour and crunchy texture)
• Flour mix for bread (rich in fibre and source of Magnesium, Phosphorus; sour and toasted taste)
• Bread (source of Phosphorous and vitamin E; cereal flavour, nutty and sweet flavour, juicy mouthfeel of the crumb)
• Extruded snacks (rich in Phosphorus and Magnesium and source of Vit B1; crunchy texture)
• Dry sourdough (peculiar aromatic bouquet and strong sour taste; extended shelf life)

Encourage rediscovery of ancient cultural traditions

1. Organization of 3 field days in Udine, Klagenfurt and Dietenheim and 2 meetings in Udine and Laimburg aimed at showcasing the peculiarities of millet, buckwheat and oats to potential growers and consumers,
with the goal of eliciting renewed interest in these minor crops
2. Focus group on the historical aspects of buckwheat cultivation in South Tyrol.

Transfer know how

1. Publication of project results in two peer reviewed journals; partners are currently working on additional manuscripts
2. Writing up of guidelines for the cultivation of millet and buckwheat
3. Final project conference in Trieste was attended by about 100 participants, including representatives of national coeliac associations, physicians, food industry experts and farmers
4. Participation at 3 conferences (International Buckwheat Research Association, Tarvisio, April 2018; Cereal and Grains, October 2018, London; ICC Conference, Vienna, April 2019) to disseminate project results
5. Organisation of 2 workshops (one covering sensorial analysis of foodstuffs; one around the application of gluten free diet in gluten- related diseases).

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