Welcome to ScanOats!
It is an honour for me to introduce you to the first ScanOats Newsletter! With ScanOats being inaugurated in June this year, we are looking forward to many exciting years of research and entrepreneurial activities with oats in focus. You may wonder; what is this ScanOats all about? Let me tell you. This initiative could not have been more timely! Oat is coming big, on all fronts, in many corners of the world. Keep reading this newsletter – your monthly companion from now on – and the more regular stream on the ScanOats website – www.scanoats.com – and you will know why. If you wish even more frequent bits and pieces of oat news from Sweden and all around the world, be my guest and check out the near-daily Twitter flow @scanoats.
I now wish you an enjoyable and informative reading!
ScanOats Research Coordinator (and Newsletter Editor)
ScanOats – what is the deal?
ScanOats is an Industrial Research Centre funded by the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research. Lund University, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and RISE are joining forces with Lantmännen, Oatly and Swedish Oat Fiber to develop new technologies and oat products that will promote health, contribute to sustainable agriculture, and increase Swedish sales and export. With this partnership, the centre has tremendous expertise in everything from genomics, prebreeding and cultivar development, over cultivation management, to mild processing and clinical studies on health effects – providing a dynamic platform that will deliver many exciting novelties over the years to come. If you want to know more, check out the articles about ScanOats in Dagens Nyheter, Framtidens Forskning and Lantmannen (all in Swedish though).
The ScanOats website www.scanoats.com / www.scanoats.se is now officially launched! Do you want to know more about the long-term goals of ScanOats, or who the involved partners are? Are you interested in any specific work package? Are you a student and want to know if there are any future career prospects in oat research and product development? Or are you simply curious about oat and why everyone nowadays is talking about this good old cereal? Then this is the place on the web to visit.
The News section
Swedish Oat Fiber acquired by Naturex
The ScanOats partner Swedish Oat Fiber has been acquired by Naturex, a global leader in specialty plant-based natural ingredients. Science and innovation have always been key drivers of Swedish Oat Fiber´s development. Peo Crona, Chief Executive Officer at Swedish Oat Fiber comments: "We are very pleased to join Naturex Group who share the same passion for our business and common values of entrepreneurship, creativity and integrity. We are convinced that Naturex will know how to provide a new strategic impetus to Swedish Oat Fiber and support its development and future projects through its international commercial network, R&D support and the expertise of its network of application laboratories." You can read more here.
Improved quality control of oat seed batches
A new instrument for quality control of oat seed bathes has been developed by Cgrain AB, a small enterprise from Uppsala of which Lantmännen is part owners. This instrument will facilitate the detection of contaminating grains, such as wheat, barley or rye, in oat batches. As oat is naturally gluten-free, only a tiny amount of contamination with other grains may cause an entire batch to lose the classification as gluten-free. This new instrument is therefore of great help. You can read more here.
Fatima, the new special-quality oat variety from Lantmännen
Good news for all oat farmers is that Lantmännen has released a new special-quality oat variety: Fatima. Fatima is a high-oil (10%) oat variety cultivated mainly as animal feed. Compared to its predecessor Matilda, Fatima has a higher yield and a higher protein content. You can read more here.
Breeding for Fusarium-resistant oat
Oat is sensitive to infection by a fungal disease called Fusarium. Apart from yield reductions, the infection also leads to accumulation of toxic compounds, the most prevalent of which is deoxynivalenol, or DON. If the DON level is above a certain threshold, the oat will not be allowed for human consumption and the farmer cannot sell it. Resistance to Fusarium is therefore of very high priority to oat breeders. Now a research team from Norway, Canada and the USA has screened 424 different spring oat lines for Fusarium resistance and DON content, providing a very useful resource for oat breeders developing this important trait. You can read more here.
Are you an undergraduate student looking for an exciting and meritorious thesis project? The ScanOats industrial partners are in this very moment preparing several projects, starting in January 2018 after an intense and focused application and selection procedure. Keep looking at the ScanOats website for imminent announcements, or also contact the ScanOats Research Coordinator Dennis Eriksson at email@example.com for more information. Lantmännen hits the ground running with two MSc projects, both designed for civil engineering students and based in Malmö and Lund. One project will map, analyse and evaluate the starch content and starch qualities of a large number of oat and barley varieties. The results will be used to suggest alternatives for processing and products in order to develop new business opportunities, which promises an exciting MSc project with both practical and theoretical components. The other project will focus on the presence of the carcinogenic substance acrylamide in certain food products that have been heated. A variety of recipes and processing methods will be tested for the production of sugar-free breakfast cereals, with the important goal of reducing the potential for acrylamide formation. For more information about these two projects, please contact Emma Nordell at Lantmännen R&D, Emma.Nordell@lantmannen.com.
Events, past and upcoming
8 November, Örebro; ScanOats Research Coordinator Dennis Eriksson presented ScanOats at the conference “Lantbrukarkonferens 2017 – Lantbruk i ett förändrat klimat”, arranged by the Rural Economy and Agricultural Societies (Hushållningssällskapet).
13 November, Lund; The leading genomic big data company NRGene visited Lund and gave a seminar on “NRGene tools for identification and management of genomic diversity – genome de novo assembly and beyond”.
21 November, Lund; ScanOats Research Coordinator Dennis Eriksson presented ScanOats at a meeting with IBMA – Nätverket för biomedicinska analytiker i Skåne.
30 November, Alnarp; ScanOats WP2 leader Olof Olsson presented ScanOats at a seminar arranged by the Nordic Genetic Resource Centre.
13-17 January 2018, San Diego, USA; The Plant and Animal Genome XXVI Conference (PAG) is designed to provide a forum on recent developments and future plans for plant and animal genome projects. PAG brings together over 3,000 leading genetic scientists and researchers in plant and animal research, and over 130 exhibits, 150 workshops, 1100 posters and over 1800 abstracts. Nick Sirijovski, ScanOats WP1 leader, will give a presentation on the plans for a hexaploid oat genome.
Thank you for reading the ScanOats 1st Newsletter! If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact the ScanOats Research Coordinator Dennis Eriksson at firstname.lastname@example.org.