Baraem (Pam) Ismail, Associate Professor
Department of Food Science and Nutrition
Intermediate wheatgrass (IWG) is a perennial crop that shows great potential to be developed as a grain crop, and provides sustainable environmental benefits. Our work on IWG thus far focused on characterizing the chemical, functional and flavor attributes of selected IWG lines. All IWG lines we tested thus far have higher fiber and protein contents. The protein distribution however differed significantly from that of hard red winter wheat. We found that the difference in protein distribution, coupled with the high fiber content, negatively affected functionality and product quality
Goals and Objectives: The objective of this project is to determine the effect of reducing fiber content by refinement and the use of dough conditioners on functionality and flavor. While breeders are intensifying efforts to enhance the yield and size of the grain as well as its quality parameters, it is crucial to determine ways to optimize utilization of the grain in order to expand its market potential as a stand-alone flour or as a replacement for wheat in commercial applications.
Approach and Methodology: Our collaborators (University of Minnesota breeders) will be planting, in sizable quantity for testing, five agronomically successful IWG lines, along with an original line of lower quality for comparison. We will utilize these lines along with IWG bulked sample (Kernza) supplied by the Land Institute in our proposed investigations.
Anticipated Outcomes: We anticipate that a strong partnership among the Land Institute, University of Minnesota breeders and Food Scientists, as well as end-use industry partners will be the engine that drives development of a successful IWG crop.