The second day of the GRDC Research Update yesterday gave attendees an insight into changing food trends affecting the grains industry, with Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council general manager Sara Grafenauer giving a presentation on the importance of wholegrain foods.
Despite the growth in plant-based protein diets, Australians are on average only consuming half of their required daily wholegrain intake.
Refined grains are a popular alternative to whole grains, with Ms Grafenauer listing cost, habit, time and taste preferences as the most common barriers to the healthier option.
An in-progress review of the health star rating is considering adding wholegrain as a consideration when calculating the ratings, something GLNC nutrition manager Felicity Curtain says is a "great opportunity for the HSR to lead the way internationally".
Ms Grafenaeur said innovative thinking to increase the nutritional quality of grains was an exciting possibility, listing the development of BARLEYmax as an excellent example of an enhanced wholegrain food.
Developed by CSIRO scientists, BARLEYmax contains four times the resistant starch of a regular grain, as well as more soluble fibre than oats and an increased amount of insoluble fibre as compared to wheat.
BARLEYmax was bred using traditional plant breeding processes, and is 100% GM free.
"This is a great example of something that's been done and is in the market," she said.
Other issues discussed throughout the day included optimal management strategies for canola, nitrogen and soil organic matter decline and different seedbank lives of emerging problem weeds.
An update regarding barley cropping in the south was presented by SARDI research scientist Kenton Porker, who received the 2019 GRDC Southern Region Emerging Leader Award on Tuesday.
Speakers for the event came from SARDI and CSIRO, as well as interstate organisations such as the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and NSW DPI.
The event ran across two days, and was attended by hundreds of agronomists, farmers and members of the grains industry.