Healthy minor cereals

HealthyMinorCereals” (HMC) are the forgotten, old types of crops which still contain healthy ingredients. The 5 year project was launched in September 2013 and is funded by the EU’s 7th Framework Programme for Research. Dr. Dagmar Janovská (Crop Research Institute in Prague, Czech Republic) heads and coordinates the work of 16 partners from 10 countries with different core competences, such as crop breeding, grain farming, food production and market research, including universities, agricultural research institutes and SME’s. The aim of the HMC project is to increase the cultivation and consumption of these five cereal crops – rye, oat, spelt, einkorn and emmer. 

The quality assessment and product development, taking account of the techno-functional properties of HMC, are objects of the applied research of the ILU up to the transfer to the SME for further processing. The requirements for the sensory quality correspond to the general requirements of edible cereals. The special feature of husked cereal is that an additional processing step, namely husking, is required in order to be able to produce wholemeal flour or flour from this type of cereal, which is usually the case for bread cereals. As a result, the lower hectare yields are further reduced by up to 50%, as the peeling yield of the individual cereals varies considerably, as results show. 

The composition (nutrients, proteins, phenols, antioxidants, etc.) of a large number of cereal genotypes was analysed. In the process the healthy minor components are predominantly localised in the surface layers. This is why the use of wholemeal flour is preferred. However, for the production of cereal foodstuff a sufficient proportion of surface layers and endosperm was a prerequisite in order to be able to produce products with high sensory acceptance. Depending on the product group the cereal proportion could be used up to 100%, e.g. directly expanded extrudates made from spelt or oat or einkorn-based chocolate short dough pastries. A large number of technological special features in the dough preparation and process were tested for the improvement of product quality. 

Studies of the market development of HMC and the possibility of market expansion for old healthy cereals are in full swing. A report on the market potential in various European regions is available on the project website.



European Union FP7




Dipl.-Ing. Rosemarie Schneeweiß