b'CANNABIS CHRONICLESWHY PROTEIN IS THE NEXT FRONTIER IN HEMP BREEDINGIts too early to say if breeding for protein content would come with any penalty for yield.Marc ZienkiewiczHEMP IS VERYnutritious. For example, there are two fattyGjuric notes.acids that are essential for human healthlinoleic acidHis team is working with Winnipegs Fresh Hemp (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3)andFoods to create a protein-rich food formulation based on hemp seed oil is packed with them. hemp. But the major breeding challenge, he says, is lack In other words, hemp packs a great nutritionalof understanding of underlaying genetics for the traits of punch, says Ben Raymond, vice-president of researchinterest (protein content and starch composition).and development for Victory Hemp Foods based inWe need a quick, accurate and preferably non-Kentucky. destructive analytical method. We are experimenting That, of course, means we as researchers have a lotwith different segregating populations both indoor and in of questions. What can we do to improve nutrition? Whatfield to better understand the genetics and working with can we do to improve flavour? Things that you would do[Saskatchewan-based] NRGene to understand it at the with soybean or canola or any other ag commodity, weDNA level and potentially develop DNA markers for the can do with hemp to make it bigger, faster, cheaper andtraits, Gjuric says.more nutritious. Its too early to say if breeding for protein content But its the plants protein potential that is one of thewould come with any penalty for yield, he adds.latest hemp frontiers researchers are looking to conquer.We are finding significant genetic variation in the Rale Gjuric and his team at Farmers Business Network inmaterial before selection. It may be an indication of no Manitoba are working to increase the protein content andpenalty for yield, but we need solid data.change the starch composition in hemp. The first selections for high protein will be grown for The idea is to develop a product for use in high mois- observation this coming season.ture meat analogue (HMMA), used in plant-based meatEfforts to bolster hemp protein quality are music to products like the Impossible Burger and Beyond MeatRaymonds ears.Burger. That would be something that I would desire, Hemp already has great nutritional value in thesebecause it would provide me with something that I could plant-based foods, but it also has the ability to be thesell as a higher value ingredient versus a traditional texturizing agent in the final product. Lack of texture isanimal protein or even as a higher quality canola or pea generally a problem with plant-based meat analogues,protein, he says. JULY 2022 GERMINATION.CA 45'