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Agrasys launches the only novel natural cereal suitable for human consumption into the market

By 1 de June de 2010November 18th, 2020No Comments
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Agrasys launches the only novel natural cereal suitable for human consumption into the market

This month, Agrasys, a biotech based at the Barcelona Science Park dedicated to the research and development of new crop varieties with a high added value, will be launching a new species of cereal, called Tritordeum, into the market. This cereal, the result of hybridization between durum wheat (pasta) and a wild barley species from Chile and Argentina, called Hordeum chilense, has many beneficial nutritional properties for health, as well as a composition and organoleptic qualities that make it ideal for the development of innovative food products.

The techniques used to produce Tritordeum are classic improvement techniques (cross-pollination) and do not involve any genetic modification (GM), enabling Tritordeum to be accredited as a natural crop species and the only new cereal that is present, at a worldwide scale, in the market developed for human consumption. This new variety has been improved in collaboration with the Spanish National Scientific Research Council (CSIC) and specifically with the genetic improvement group led by Antonio Martín, research professor of the Institute of Sustainable Agriculture of Córdoba (IAS).

Agrasys holds exclusive rights to the exploitation and distribution of Tritordeum, which is commercialised under the trade name Vivagran® . At present the company sells the finished product, which it produces with Semillas Miluma, an Andalusian company, but it maintains contact with other companies that produce grains and seeds, as well as food companies –such as Lantmannen, a Swedish multinational and the first European producer of frozen bread and different types of dough- to sell both production rights and the rights to incorporate and commercialise this ingredient in other finished products: bread, breakfast cereals, cookies, bakery products and cereal bars, etc, given that its gluten protein content makes it suitable for bread making, an application that no other known cereals, such as barley or oats, boast.

According to Paul Lazzeri, scientific director of Agrasys, “the current objective of the company is to develop new varieties of this cereal with new functional characteristics, given that it is a product with specific properties and functionalities, that are not found in other cereals, opening a door to the production of innovative products in the field of functional food products, a fact that responds to the demand of current consumers and new market trends”.

The company was founded in 2005 as a spin-off the Spanish National Scientific Research Council (CSIC) and is financially backed by UNINVEST S.G.E.R., S.A., via its R+D capital risk fund Unifondox. It is also part of the PCB-Santander Bioincubator, a project promoted by the PCB, the Bosch i Gimpera Foundation and the Santander Bank, which aims to participate in the long-term strengthening of the tissue of technology-based companies in the field of biotechnology in Catalonia.