Launching the EU collaborative project HealthyMinorCereals


The Crop Research Institute launches the EU-funded project “An integrated approach to diversify the genetic base, improve stress resistance, agronomic management and nutritional/processing quality of minor cereal crops for human nutrition in Europe” (HealthyMinorCereals). The HealthyMinorCereals is a large-scale collaborative project within the EU 7th Framework Programme.

With a total budget of € 6.5 million, the project involves sixteen participants from ten European/Associated countries: Austria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Switzerland, Turkey and United Kingdom. The project aims to enhance the exploitation of five of the so-called 'minor cereal' species - spelt, rye, oat, einkorn and emmer.
These minor cereals are regarded as less important from many points of view but may have important attributes useful for food and crop diversity, disease resistance and many other factors. The project shall explore economic potential of minor cereals and find solutions to support their cultivation and broader introduction to the market. Starting from the selection of suitable genetic resources with traits of resistance to important and emerging crop diseases and robustness to abiotic stresses such as frost and drought, the selected genotypes will be tested in field experiments to optimise their agronomy within organic and low-input production systems in order to achieve good yields and maintain high nutritional quality of grain. Food industry partners will investigate methods of grain processing and develop new products while maintaining the high nutritional value of these minor cereals. The marketing of new products and investigation of their market potential for enhancing the consumption of minor cereals are also important parts of the project.
The kick-off meeting of the Healthy Minor Cereals project took place in Prague, Czech Republic on 16-18th October 2013.
More information will be available on the project's website after its launch in December 2013.


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