Project: Methods to improve quality in organic wheat

Main aim (from the project proposal) The overall objective of AGTEC-Org is to identify agronomical and technological ways to improve the performance of organic wheat and flour. This will contribute to enhancing the baking quality and nutritional value of organic flour, and preventing mycotoxin contamination to fulfil consumers’ expectations of providing safe and healthy products. Specific objectives (from the project proposal) 1. To evaluate the current practices in organic grain wheat production and flour-processing in Europe, 2. To improve crop management strategies to enable bread-quality wheat to be produced on organic farms. 3. To develop optimal post-harvest treatments (grain pre-treatment before milling and milling technique) to optimise flour characteristics from organic wheat by considering simultaneously their nutritional, safety and techno-functional properties. 4. To generalise results from experiments in order to enhance farm management strategies in other climates and soil types). The AGTEC-Org project seeks to build up new knowledge on agronomical and technological factors impacting upon organic wheat and flour production. Five work packages (WPs) evaluate the current practices in organic grain wheat production and flour processing in Europe (WP1), study crop management strategies, with a special focus on soil management, nitrogen fertilization and crop rotation (WP2), and manage post-harvest treatments through optimal extraction using either roller or stone milling and physicochemical treatments (WP3) to enhance baking quality and nutritive value, expressed though techno-functional properties and protein composition (WP4), and limit mycotoxin contamination (WP4). Modelling will be run to account for soil and climatic variation (WP5). The results will be compiled and compared across sites and management practices assess environmental impact (N-NO3 fluxes) of the crop management practices. The project management is organized as a separate WP (1), which also draws the final conclusions based on the results achieved in WP2-5. The consortium brings together partners within Europe, with complementary, internationally respected expertise in agronomy and food technology. New knowledge is provided on the wheat-flour chain through the assessment of innovative crop management and/or milling techniques and, then, the combination of agronomical and technological methods. The long-term experiments used in this project also give the opportunity to examine the effects of crop management not only on organic bread wheat yield and quality but also on soil fertility. Field experiments provided some elements to better understand how soil and nitrogen management affect wheat production, mycotoxin contamination and the nutritional and baking quality. The post-harvest experiments have evaluated the potential of milling procedures (stone vs. roller, different rates of extraction) to improve baking quality and avoid mycotoxin contamination. Baking tests and techno-functional properties allow us to assess the incidence of agronomic conditions on baking quality. Modelling has been used to evaluate the effect of the different cropping systems and crop management on wheat performance and quality. The multidisciplinary and transnational nature of the consortium involved in this project has and will facilitate the dissemination of the findings and technical advances in both agronomical and technological fields. The research findings will have positive effects on the competitiveness of European organic agriculture and related food industries. Outputs and deliverables (from the project proposal): Papers for peer-reviewed scientific journals (one or more per WP). Papers for (inter)national trade journals. Participate in (inter)national conferences. (11 contributions to conferences) Arrange interviews with farmers, millers and advisers

Duration 01/01/2007 - 30/06/2011
Website visit project website
Network CORE Organic
Call CORE-ORGANIC Pilot Call

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
Ecole Superieure d'Agriculture d'Angers France
The Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research - Agroscope Reckenholz Tänikon Research Station Switzerland
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna - Division of Organic Farming Austria
Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca per gli Alimenti e la Nutrizione - Cereal Research Department Italy
Lyon Engineering School for Agriculture, Environment and Food Coordinator France
French National Institute for Agricultural Research - Grignon, Agronomy Departement France
Aarhus University Denmark
Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland
French National Institute for Agricultural Research Montpellier - Cereal Technology Department France