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Government of Canada invests in food research to support disease prevention

 Ottawa, Ontario – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced an investment of up to $106,000 to the Prairie Oat Growers Association for new research trials to better understand the role oats play in disease prevention. Findings from this project will help create new market opportunities for Canadian oat producers.

With funding under the AgriScience Program, the St. Boniface Hospital Research Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba is working with the association to conduct animal feeding trials with oats. The goal is to determine exactly how oat protein is digested and what effect it has on reducing cholesterol and blood glucose levels. The data, which is expected to be published and peer-reviewed by early 2023, is part of a verification process needed to make a health claim that oat protein can positively affect cholesterol and blood glucose.

Oats are already recognized as a healthy food because of their soluble fibre content. Consumer interest in the health benefits of the grain have helped Canadian oat producers transform their sector from a bulk exporter 30 years ago to one that today is largely selling value-added products and ingredients. A new health claim about oat protein could help the industry further diversify market opportunities, stimulate increased demand and economic benefits for Canadian oat growers, while contributing to healthier diets for consumers.

The Government of Canada is committed to supporting research that explores the full nutritional and health benefits of Canadian agricultural products, recognizing the positive impact it has on consumers and the Canadian economy. 

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