Solutions for a healthier,
Led by University College Dublin in collaboration with Aberystwyth University, Swansea University and Teagasc Ireland, Healthy Oats is a research project promoting the development of oats as a healthy food product and a climate-resistant crop in Wales and Ireland. It surveys consumer attitudes to oat products in current and future climate scenarios, helping industry develop new products, to demonstrate their health benefits, and to evaluate how policy can promote sustainable oat product production.
Oats are a traditional crop in Irish and Welsh farming systems, with demand increasing significantly due to their health benefits (gluten free, high β-glucan). Healthy Oats will strengthen territorial innovation in oat product development through the collaboration of complementary Welsh and Irish expertise. Healthy Oats will survey consumer attitudes to oat products and survey oat germplasm performance in current and future climate scenarios; it will build on this information to help industry develop new products, to demonstrate their health benefits, and to evaluate how policy can promote sustainable oat product production to the benefit of Irish and Welsh economies.
Healthy Oats will bring together unique expertise in both Ireland and Wales on germplasm selection, oat genotyping, consumer behaviour and oat product development. Welsh expertise in germplasm evaluation complements UCD expertise in disease screening, together they can work to select the most promising genotypes in terms of field performance. Importantly, their selection will be informed by complementary Welsh and Irish industry needs, which in turn will be informed by Welsh and Irish consumer and health behavioural studies. Bringing together these, as yet unexploited, synergies will ensure that both territorial regions can face the challenges of innovation and better utilisation (new disease resistant and stress resistant oat germplasm suited to the territorial environmental, new oat product development) in an efficient manner.
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