Seed World

Cross Pollination | January 2015


Demand for Alberta-bred Bentley Barley Spikes

Canterra Seeds and Canada Malting announced the contracting program for Alberta-bred Bentley barley will increase in 2014/15. Contracting Bentley since 2013, Canada Malting plans to expand its contracted acres to more than 40,000 in 2015. The variety received malt approval from the Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre in the fall of 2013 and has been gaining interest among the brewing world.


“We are very pleased with the malting results of Bentley, and our customers’ demand for the variety is expected to increase this year,” says Ryan Dodd, Canadian elevator operations manager for Canada Malting. Bentley barley is the first malt barley bred by Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development to be commercially contracted for malt. The two-row barley has proven popular with growers because of its high yield, agronomic package and excellent quality profile. “Our seed growers and their customers have been very happy with Bentley,” says Rick Love, CANTERRA SEEDS pedigreed seed production manager. “I have never come across a farmer who is disappointed with Bentley in the field. It is exciting to now have this vote of confidence from malting and brewing customers.”

Study Finds Behaviour Change with Nutrigenomics

jan15_crosspoll_2Researchers from the University of Toronto (U of T) report that personalized dietary advice based on a person’s genetic makeup improves eating habits compared to the current “one-size-fits-all” dietary recommendations. The findings were published online in the journal PLoS One. “We conducted the first randomized controlled trial to determine the impact of disclosing DNA-based dietary advice on eating habits,” says Ahmed El-Sohemy, a U of T associate professor in Nutritional Sciences and Canada Research Chair in Nutrigenomics. “We found that people who receive DNA-based advice improve their diet to a greater extent than those who receive the standard dietary advice. They’re also the ones who need to change it the most.”

Nutrigenomics is a field of research that aims to understand why some people respond differently than others to the same foods. Personalized nutrition, a branch of personalized medicine, is an application of nutrigenomics that helps tailor dietary recommendations to a person’s DNA. The researchers collected data on the intake of caffeine, sodium, vitamin C and sugar from 138 healthy young adults. The subjects were then randomly placed into two different study groups — one was given DNA-based dietary advice for each of the four dietary components of interest, and the other group was given current standard dietary advice for the same dietary components with no genetic information. Changes in their dietary habits were assessed after three and 12 months. The researchers found that subjects who received DNA-based dietary advice started to show improvements to their diets after three months and the changes became even more apparent after 12 months.