Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Tartary buckwheat as a new source for functional foods

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
4.03.01  Biotechnical sciences  Plant production  Agricultural plants 

Code Science Field
B390  Biomedical sciences  Phytotechny, horticulture, crop protection, phytopathology 

Code Science Field
4.01  Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences  Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries 
Buckwheat, functional food, nutrition, flavonoids, diet
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (17)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  26453  PhD Petra Cuderman  Pharmacy  Researcher  2010  40 
2.  31478  Maša Čarf  Biology  Technical associate  2010  20 
3.  10582  PhD Ingrid Falnoga  Neurobiology  Researcher  2010 - 2013  345 
4.  25506  PhD Neža Finžgar  Plant production  Junior researcher  2010  86 
5.  15122  PhD Mateja Germ  Biology  Researcher  2010 - 2013  598 
6.  14082  PhD Radojko Jaćimović  Physics  Researcher  2010 - 2013  735 
7.  24183  Matej Jeraša    Technical associate  2010 - 2013 
8.  00950  PhD Ivan Kreft  Plant production  Head  2010 - 2013  910 
9.  08259  PhD Domen Leštan  Plant production  Researcher  2010 - 2013  408 
10.  18287  PhD Darja Mazej  Chemistry  Researcher  2011 - 2013  380 
11.  32059  PhD Špela Mechora  Plant production  Junior researcher  2010 - 2013  73 
12.  25512  PhD Paula Pongrac  Biology  Researcher  2010  288 
13.  12013  PhD Marjana Regvar  Biology  Researcher  2010 - 2013  537 
14.  01873  PhD Vekoslava Stibilj  Chemistry  Researcher  2010 - 2013  687 
15.  19822  Barbara Svetek    Technical associate  2010 - 2013  89 
16.  30709  PhD Maja Vogrinčič  Plant production  Junior researcher  2010 - 2013  32 
17.  21452  PhD Igor Zelnik  Biology  Researcher  2010 - 2013  232 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0106  Jožef Stefan Institute  Ljubljana  5051606000  91,408 
2.  0481  University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty  Ljubljana  1626914  66,962 
Tartary buckwheat (Fagopyrum tataricum Gaertn.) has been widely grown as a crop in Slovenia since the beginning of the 19th century. Compared with common buckwheat and other crops, it is more resistant to conditions at high altitude (up to about 1,200 m in Slovenia). Additionally, it is resistant to grazing by wild or domestic animals, and to limiting soil and weather conditions. As such, it was a good replacement for common buckwheat, especially in the marginal growing areas, although less popular because of its slightly bitter taste. Growing areas of tartary buckwheat started to decrease around year 1980, as maize and other more yield intensive crops covered more fields. Recently, tartary buckwheat has been grown in Luxemburg in Europe, and outside Europe around the Himalayas and in China. Recently, it was found that the somewhat bitter taste of tartary buckwheat grain is due to the high concentration (even in comparison to common buckwheat) of polyphenols, and the especially high concentration of rutin and quercetin. Many studies have been conducted on the growing and utilization value of common buckwheat (including several internationally known publications by the present team), but only a limited number of studies on tartary buckwheat exist.   Recently, as a result of the interest in environmentally friendly plant-growing, functional foods and the market demand for special food products (including products for patients with coeliac disease, and products rich in anti-oxidants, fibre and trace elements), interest in growing tartary buckwheat in Slovenia, and for producing and consuming its products, has been revived. Because tartary buckwheat (TB) is an undemanding crop, it can be grown in climate change conditions. Interest in the cultivation, consumption and research of tartary buckwheat is increasing internationally and novel products have started to appear.   Within the project, genetic resources of tartary buckwheat will be collected and evaluated. The available genetic material of tartary buckwheat will be studied in regard to its suitability for cultivation in Slovenia. This will include studying the interaction of genetic variability with environmental conditions, and how this influences the yield and concentration of secondary substances, in field experiments. The feasibility of growing tartary buckwheat in Slovenia, as well as in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Italy and Slovakia, will be studied. Flavonoids, anti-oxidative substances, selenium (and its speciation), other trace elements (Zn, I), soluble and insoluble dietary fibre, and proteins in different parts of tartary buckwheat plants and grain will be investigated.   TB grain will be milled, and, from milling fractions, different foods (including bread, steamed bread and porridge) prepared. Concentration of Se and Se species, rutin, quercetin and anti-oxidative activity will be studied in dough, in the inner part of the loaf and in the crust, and in various parts of other food products, to establish changes caused by food processing and to estimate the solubility and bioavailability of Se species and flavonoids. As part of the project, and based on the tradition of both the cultivation and the utilization of buckwheat species in Slovenia and in other countries, and on scientifically confirmed information on the functional properties of tartary buckwheat products and dishes, information on how to use tartary buckwheat products as functional food items will be prepared for farmers, millers, bakers, cooks and consumers. Information dissemination seminars will be organized. As a result of this investigation, we will suggest a list of possible tartary buckwheat products, with special regard to functional properties, important for target groups, such as patients with coeliac disease, seniors, people with relative insufficiency of dietary fibre, minerals or anti-oxidants in the diet, and people generally interested in a healthy diet.
Significance for science
Se was effectively assimilated by Tartary buckwheat plants and taken into the seeds, where its concentration was more than double that in untreated plants. The seeds were collected and sown to obtain the progeny of these Se-treated plants. To assess the physiological characteristics of control plants and these Se-treated progeny plants, the estimated respiratory potential via electron transport system (ETS) activity and the photochemical efficiency of photosystem II were measured. Three weeks after germination, the Se-treated progeny plants showed higher ETS activity compared to the controls. Antigenotoxic effect of flour extracts, rutin and quercetin was evaluated using the comet assay. Rutin and quercetin decreased the extent of t-BOOH induced DNA damage for 51% and 67%, respectively. Common and Tartary buckwheat flour extracts showed high antioxidant capacity and prominent genoprotective ability. The obtained results show high antigenotoxic activity of buckwheat, and furthermore, they suggest that complex nutrient and flavonoid rich food products are more efficient in their health promoting effects compared to a single active substance. Rutin and quercetin content of common and Tartary flour extracts was determined by reversed phase-high performance liquid chromatography; and antigenotoxic effect of flour extracts, rutin and quercetin was evaluated using the comet assay.
Significance for the country
In lectures, seminars for farmers and TV emissions results on experimental growing of Tartary buckwheat in Dolenjska region were reported. Tartary buckwheat was grown in Slovenia from the beginning of 19th century to the middle of 20th century. After 50 years gap in growing Tartary buckwheat, we are growing it in Slovenia again, as a result of this research project. Tartary buckwheat is confirmed to be resistant to deleterious environmental impacts and is even more rich in flavonoids and other nutritionally important plant metabolites in comparison to common buckwheat. Different genotypes of Tartary buckwheat and an allopolyploid of Tartary and giganteum buckwheat were experimentally grown. It was established that domestic variety of Tartary buckwheat from Luxembourg was among tested samples the most suitable to be grown in Slovenia. Feasibility for the development of diverse food products, based on Tartary buckwheat flour and groats was investigated. Within the frame of this project the development of Tartary buckwheat grain dehusking was performed; as far as we know it is the only Tartary buckwheat groat product of this type developed in Europe.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2010, 2011, 2012, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2010, 2011, 2012, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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