Brendon Cant brendon at iinet.net.au
Wed Nov 8 03:44:09 CET 2006

GRDC Media Release -- 8.11.06



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The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) is supporting a
project to develop new wheat varieties designed to improve human health and
reduce the incidence of diabetes and obesity.


GRDC Chairman Terry Enright said the GRDC would contribute one third of the
research costs in an incorporated joint venture to develop and commercialise
a high amylose wheat.


High amylose wheat starch has an amylose content above 50 per cent, compared
with 20 to 30 per cent in existing wheat varieties.


High amylose wheat has high levels of resistant starch and a lower glycaemic
index than current wheat varieties.


When combined in baked products and pasta, these properties make it
extremely effective in tackling the problems of obesity, Type 11 diabetes
and colorectal cancer. 


The two other partners in the joint venture are the CSIRO and Biogemma (a
subsidiary of Groupe Limagrain).


Mr Enright said while the GRDC was a latecomer to investing in high-amylose
wheat, he congratulated the CSIRO and Limagrain for investing in the
development of the technology in the last decade to a point where a
commercial product was in sight.


“We can clearly see the opportunity for the industry to provide higher
margin specialised grain products for Australian farmers to grow for our
markets,” he said.


“This is consistent with the GRDC’s role to invest in new technology to
ensure the Australian grains industry remains competitive and financially
sustainable by participating in new higher value markets.”


Mr Enright said national research priorities established by the Australian
Government, which, with growers, funds the GRDC, included promoting and
maintaining good health, improving industry competitiveness and developing
‘frontier’ technologies.


“The beauty of the joint venture is that it meets all of these priorities,”
he said.


“The health claims of the technology address key dietary issues of bowel


“The science involves leading edge technology, using the CSIRO-developed
RNAi gene silencing techniques and the participation of Limagrain provides
the market signals and expertise to develop the products for market. 


“GRDC surveys tell us growers are very interested in new products and
varieties that will increase their income opportunities to assist their
competitiveness in both traditional markets and new market segments.


“To deliver these results and benefits, the GRDC recognises it must partner
with the best research organisations and partners in the value chain,” Mr
Enright said.


Contact: Helen Weldon

Manager, Corporate Communication


0417 237 984; 02 6272 5525



Brendon Cant & Associates
Public Relations & Marketing 
Suite 5
4 Gugeri St
Claremont WA 6010
Tel 08 9384 1122


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