Research agreement signed with PepsiCo

The La Trobe Institute for Agriculture and Food (LIAF) at La Trobe University today [22 August] signed a partnership with PepsiCo - one of the world’s leading food and beverage companies and a major provider of oat grain products (through Quaker Oats) - to conduct research in the critical area of grain quality.

The $2.3 million research project will be focused on oat grain development, with the aim of increasing the nutritional quality of food products.

Director of LIAF, Professor Tony Bacic, explained the importance of oat grains to human health.

“Oat grains are one of our richest sources of soluble dietary fibre, which is known to be essential for human gut health and heart health,” Professor Bacic said. “A lack of sufficient soluble fibre – water-soluble cell-wall polysaccharides, otherwise known as beta-glucans – in our diets is a major contributor to a number of food-related, non-communicable diseases.

“Our program with PepsiCo aims to understand oat grain development and the factors that contribute to the quantity and quality of the beta-glucans produced in oat grains.”

PepsiCo has been at the forefront of industry-leading breeding, growing, and milling practices on behalf of the Quaker brand and continues to be a leading investor in Oat breeding and nutrition research to advance scientific understanding of this important dietary staple.

The research project is one of several major initiatives emerging from LIAF which, with industry partners, is developing new and innovative opportunities to transform the scope, scale and translation of the Australian agri-food research and innovation sector.

“Our collaboration with PepsiCo is a great example of how LIAF partnerships can significantly impact both the agri-food and health sectors,” LIAF Director Professor Tony Bacic said.

Dr Monika Doblin, Dr Mathew Lewsey, Professor Jim Whelan and Professor Tony Bacic from La Trobe University’s LIAF are the principal investigators working on this project. Three additional Research Associates will be appointed from agreement funds.

About LIAF at La Trobe University

LIAF was formed from a proposed $50 million co-investment, with La Trobe matching funds with external partners including industry - with the mission to support basic and translational research and training in the agri-food sector.

LIAF is particularly focussed on streamlining the development and testing of desirable traits in cereal grains and legume seeds.

For more information about PepsiCo visit the website.

Media Contact: Claire Bowers – c.bowers@latrobe.edu.au - 9479 2315 / 0437279903

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