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FFL-JA-Forskningsmidlene for jordbruk og matindustri

From Gene to Bread: Building knowledge and exploiting technology to achieve high wheat self-sufficiency in Norway

Alternative title: Fra gen til brød: økt kunnskap og bedre teknologiutnyttelse for å oppnå høy selvforsyningsgrad av mathvete i Norge

Awarded: NOK 22,999

Project Manager:

Project Number:


Project Period:

2023 - 2027

Partner countries:

The main goal of the Gene2Bread project is to contribute to increase the degree of Norway’s self-sufficiency in bread wheat in the coming years. The project will identify genes contributing to both a stable high yield and protein content, which can be used in breeding programs. In addition, we will investigate site- and variety-specific fertilization based on sensor and satellite measurements, which can improve nitrogen utilization. This will make the wheat production more sustainable. To increase the use of Norwegian bread wheat, stable and adequate qualities of wheat are crucial for the industry. The project will find factors causing variations in the breadmaking quality and measures to deal with these to attain a more stable quality. However, the quality of Norwegian wheat will continue to vary due to environmental influences in the future. Therefore, we will carry out annual quality analyses to help the value chain plan for the maximum use of Norwegian wheat. The project will also investigate acceptable tolerances for quality parameters so that the bakeries can adapt their processes without quality compromises and economic losses. The millers need access to wheat of different qualities so that bakeries can make a wide range of products. The project will examine the dough and viscoelastic properties of commercial cultivars and how their inherent properties influence breadmaking quality in flour blends. This will contribute to more controlled quality differences, leading to better utilization of the Norwegian wheat cultivars. Gene2Bread is carried out in close cooperation with and active knowledge exchange between research environments and the value chain. The project will focus on implementing the results in the value chain. An increased self-sufficiency in bread wheat will contribute to a competitive advantage for the value chain and ensure food security in Norway.

The project aims to increase Norway’s self-sufficiency in milling wheat by gaining knowledge to improve wheat quality and increase its utilisation. Adequate protein content and a stable quality between seasons and within a season are prerequisites to increasing the share of Norwegian wheat in the flour blend. The project will identify high-protein genes to be used in breeding programs and develop precise nitrogen fertilisation strategies. The project’s outcome will allow farmers to produce wheat with a small environmental footprint by growing cultivars with high protein genes and using cutting-edge technologies, such as sensors, unmanned aerial vehicles and satellites. The project will also determine the variations in the chemical composition of flour constituents, as well as identify differences between cultivars in response to a fungal infection that could weaken gluten quality. The results will contribute to finding measures to achieve stable quality. The project will also explore strategies for the maximum use of Norwegian wheat of varying quality. Analysis of wheat quality in the early season for the quality prediction of the new harvest will assist the industries in planning for the maximum use of Norwegian wheat. Furthermore, the project will investigate the possibility and method of adjusting breadmaking processes according to seasonal variations in quality. More flexible processes at the industrial level will allow for increasing the utilisation of Norwegian wheat. The project will be accomplished through close collaboration with industry partners leading to an active knowledge exchange within the value chain, including the research community. The project will cover in-depth, technology-based research with a strong focus on implementations in the value chain. Increased self-sufficiency in milling wheat will furthermore satisfy the consumers’ demand for domestic products as well as contribute to higher food security in Norway.

Funding scheme:

FFL-JA-Forskningsmidlene for jordbruk og matindustri