13TSB_N4L2CRD: High Fibre Wheat for Healthier White Bread

Lead Research Organisation: John Innes Centre
Department Name: Crop Genetics

Abstract

The aim of this industry led project is to increase the intake of soluble dietary fibre of the general population, providing Nutrition for Life to consumers of white bread, many of which are children. Today, almost 55% of all bread consumed is white bread with very little fibre content, and partly responsible for the low fibre intake by the majority of the population. This project will use already identified high fibre wheat to develop a wheat variety suitable for UK conditions with good bread making quality. KWS, the plant breeding company in the project, will work closely with academic partners to make this possible, while M&S will investigate the quality and nutritional value of bread made from high soluble fibre wheat, as well as exploit initial market opportunities. This project involving a unique composition of plant breeders, retail industry, quality and genetic experts will only be feasible with financial support from TSB.

Technical Summary

The aim of this industry led project is to increase the intake of soluble dietary fibre of the general population, providing Nutrition for Life to consumers of white bread, many of which are children. Today, almost 55% of all bread consumed is white bread with very little fibre content, and partly responsible for the low fibre intake by the majority of the population. This project will use already identified high fibre wheat to develop a wheat variety suitable for UK conditions with good bread making quality. KWS, the plant breeding company in the project, will work closely with academic partners to make this possible, while M&S will investigate the quality and nutritional value of bread made from high soluble fibre wheat, as well as exploit initial market opportunities. This project involving a unique composition of plant breeders, retail industry, quality and genetic experts will only be feasible with financial support from TSB.

Planned Impact

Cereal products contribute 29/30% of the total energy daily intake of adult males/females, 22/21% of the intake of protein and 39/37% of the intake of non-starch polysaccharides (ie. dietary fibre, DF) (NDNS, 2011). Similarly, Steer et al. (Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 2008, Vol 67, E363) showed that bread products alone contributed 12% of the protein, 20% of the fibre and 16% of the iron to the adult UK diet, with white bread alone contributing 11% of the dietary fibre.

There is a clear and widely accepted need to increase the intake of dietary fibre in the UK diet, from the current 1.3g per day to the recommended intake of 18g per day. Doubling the content of DF in white bread could therefore contribute an additional 1.43g fibre to the daily intake.

The financial benefits of increasing dietary fibre to consumers are more difficult to quantify as they relate to quality of life and reduced health care costs. However, there are massive projected increases in disease for which the risk factors include low dietary fibre: clinical obesity in UK adults to 50% of the population by 2050, type 2 diabetes by 20-fold, hypertension by 5-fold, CVD by 2.5-fold and some cancers by 3-fold. These figure indicate that even small improvements in diet could have a significant impact on health, with associated reductions in health care costs.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description We have produced mapping populations that are well suited to find genomic regions involved in grain fibre content. Preliminary studies have highlighted regions of major interest. This is work in progress.
Exploitation Route Breeding wheat that has a higher soluble fiber content, that will make healthier end products like bread and biscuits.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink