Oat Breeders Develop Variety Higher in Beta Glucans

May 22, 2012

Plant breeders at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have developed an oat variety that features more beta glucans than common oats.

Plant breeders at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have developed BetaGene, a high-yield oat variety that features more beta glucans than the oats commonly available in today’s market.

Beta glucans have become a focal point for research, among other conditions, on heart health. Consumption of these compounds has been linked to cholesterol reductions, and FDA, EFSA, and Health Canada all have cardiovascular health claims for either oat fiber or oat beta glucans.

BetaGene is an estimated 2% higher in beta glucans than common varieties. While the increase sounds small, the University explains that it translates to a 20% boost in beta glucans in products ready to market.

The food industry has already taken interest in BetaGene, with at least one large milling company reported to have visited the area to learn more about the oat.

BetaGene is the result of a cross-breed developed in 1998.