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National Bagel Day: Highlighting NIFA-Supported Grain Research

Nifa Author
Rachel Dotson, Public Affairs Specialist (Social Media)

National Bagel Day is January 15! Grab a bagel and your favorite spreadable topping and read about how USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture is supporting the grain industry.

Detecting Toxic Mold in Grains
Mycotoxins are toxic substances produced by fungi—or molds—that reduce crop productivity and quality. Mycotoxins often develop in grains when they are stored or handled improperly. If contaminated grains are incorporated into animal feed or food products, this becomes a health hazard for livestock and humans. Exposure can lead to cancer, organ failure, and reduced immune system function. Scientists across the United States have come together to conduct research and outreach that gives farmers, grain elevator operators, healthcare providers, and veterinarians the information they need to detect mycotoxin exposure, assess risks, and treat related diseases. These research and outreach efforts are supported, in part, through NIFA by the Multistate Research Fund established in 1998 by the Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act. Learn more.
Improving End-use Quality of Wheat
Within the large varieties of wheat, there are unique traits that can influence its end use. In the Pacific Northwest, around 85 percent of the wheat is exported to mostly Asian and Middle Eastern countries. The total market value of U.S. wheat exported to solely Asian countries is more than $400 million per year.  To remain competitive, producers work to improve overall grain quality by looking at genetics and agricultural practices. This Multistate Research Fund project improved the quality of existing and new wheat varieties, giving growers more profitable choices, helping U.S. wheat growers compete in domestic and international markets, and providing a stable supply of high-quality wheat products for industrial partners and consumers. Learn more.
Producing Quality Beers with a Modified Mashing Process of Gluten-Free Grains
Penn State University researchers are working to produce a better tasting beer for consumers with celiac disease or other gluten intolerances. By using a modified, lower-temperature mashing procedure to retain enzyme activity, brewers can use malts from gluten-free grains to produce high-quality beers. Gluten-free grains include teff, sorghum, rice, millet, corn, and buckwheat. Learn more.
Check out a few other grain-related studies.


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