Celebrating research to benefit the grains industry and human health

12 DECEMBER 2019

Celebrating research to benefit the grains industry and human health

PhD and Honours research students from the Functional Grains Centre at Charles Sturt University will graduate at Wagga Wagga on Monday 16 December

  • Research with potential to deliver functional foods to boost human health will be recognised in a Charles Sturt University graduation ceremony
  • The PhD and Honours research students from the Functional Grains Centre at Charles Sturt University will graduate
  • The research also provides important information for plant breeders and the grains industry

Charles Sturt University (Charles Sturt) research that could boost human health, lead to the development of new foods and increase returns for grain growers will be recognised in a graduation ceremony on Monday 16 December.

Four PhD and four Honours research students from the Australian Research Council (ARC) Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Functional Grains (FGC) will receive their awards at the ceremony at Wagga Wagga.

FGC Director Professor Chris Blanchard said it is an important milestone for the graduates and the Centre.

“The research conducted by some of these graduates has increased our knowledge about the potential therapeutic benefits of coloured grains for diseases like cancer and diabetes,” Professor Blanchard said.

“It paves the way for more research and for the development of functional foods that could benefit consumers and in turn deliver new marketing opportunities for the Australian grains industry.

“Importantly, the research has also looked what happens in the paddock and how that impacts on some of these health properties.

“Other research has delivered important information to help rice growers improve water-use efficiency and to guide plant breeders developing low allergenic wheat.”

Dr Esther Callcott’s research has identified the potential for using Australian-grown coloured rice as a functional food to combat some of the health risk factors associated with obesity and lifestyle diseases. Read more.

Dr Shiwangni Rao investigated the antioxidant properties of wholegrain cereals like rice, sorghum, barley and oats on colorectal cancer cells. She found potential for compounds in these cereals to kill cancer cells.

Dr Chris Florides documented the allergenicity of 112 wheat cultivars grown in Australia over the last 160 years, providing important tools for plant breeders to develop varieties more suited for people with mild gluten intolerance. Read more

Dr Rachael Wood’s research has found it’s possible for rice growers to reduce water use without compromising the whole grain yield, an important indicator of grain quality. She also found increasing the zinc (Zn) content of the rice through fertilisation will not affect grain quality but may improve the Zn level delivered to consumers, which could deliver benefits for human health.

Funded by the Australian Government through the ARC’s Industrial Transformation Training Centres scheme, the FGC is administered by Charles Sturt and is an initiative of the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation.

Media Note:

Photo information: Centre for Functional Grains students Dr Shiwangni Rao and Dr Esther Callcott will graduate at a ceremony at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga on Monday 16 December.

To arrange interviews please contact Graham Centre communications officer Ms Emily Malone on 0439 552 385 or email emalone@csu.edu.au.

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Wagga Wagga Agricultural Science Charles Sturt University Graham Centre Research