Seed World

KeyGene Partner In Chicory Research

KeyGene is one of the partners in the EU financed CHIC-research consortium working on chicory. The research aims at the establishment of a responsible innovation pathway for the development and application of New Plant Breeding Techniques (NPBTs) for chicory as a multipurpose crop. This new chicory will produce high-value consumer products, in line with societal needs.

The CHIC consortium includes SMEs, an industrial partner, non-profit organizations and research institutes from 11 European countries and one from New Zealand.

CHIC will develop four different NPBTs. These will be used to steer bioprocesses in chicory and mobilize its under-explored potential to produce immunomodulatory prebiotics and medicinal terpenes. The NPBTs will be assessed with respect to technological potential, risks, regulatory framework and socio-economic impacts.

The CHIC program will invest much time and effort in communication about the research. Research will be done in close consultation with a Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG) having relevant stakeholders from industry and society. The consortium will discuss ongoing project activities and results with stakeholders and will inform interested public about the research. Via this approach, the team aims to contribute to leadership in responsible research innovation and to promote improved understanding of plant biotechnology.

CHIC will develop two business cases in different application areas: inulin as healthy food ingredient and terpenes as medicinal lead compounds. The results will boost chicory as a robust multipurpose crop, tolerant to adverse environmental conditions. From the multi-purpose chicory crop bioactive compounds can be extracted, thus contributing to sustainable agriculture and a bio based economy.

Source: KeyGene