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AVIPROFO – Ancient Varieties for the Innovation of Baked Products

by luciano

It is an interesting project concerning the use of ancient grains being implemented by the Department of Agriculture of the University of Sassari in collaboration with Porto Conte Ricerche. Sardinia – Italy. Fourteen Sardinian companies are experimentally producing and marketing different types of bread and biscuits, pizzas, made with two ancient Sardinian grains (durum wheat “Trigu Murru”; soft wheat “Trigu Cossu”). The main aim of the AVIPROFO project is to create a supply chain between those who produce the raw material and those who transform it, including marketing.
Project presentation The project addresses the critical issues manifested by companies in the sector: a -difficulty of innovation of traditional bakery products b- technological problems deriving from the use of local raw materials c – poor availability of raw materials produced in Sardinia. The whey from sheep’s milk powder, the result of the recovery of a by-product of the dairy industry, will be used for the characteristics of the whey-proteins provided to give structure to the gluten network of the dough, while the sourdough got the job, in addition to making the dough rise far, it hydrolyzes the lactose contained in the whey powder, by the lactic acid bacteria contained within it. The degradation of lactose in the dough will prevent the intolerant subjects from consuming these products on the label. The general objective of the project is to improve the production of durum wheat and soft wheat flour from old Sardinian varieties for the production of bakery products according to modern production technologies, with the help of an improver (sheep’s milk whey in powder) and natural yeast technology.

Responsabile scientifico: Antonio Piga

Sardegna Ricerche: Graziana Frogheri

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Ancient and modern grains, gluten intolerance and pesticides: Enzo Spisni answers readers’ questions

by luciano

Grani antichi e moderni, intolleranza al glutine e pesticidi: Enzo Spisni risponde alle domande dei lettori
(DA: Redazione Il Fatto Alimentare 11 Agosto 2017)

La questione dei grani antichi e della sensibilità al glutine fa molto discutere. Non sorprende quindi, che l’articolo “Pasta con grano antico o moderno: il problema dell’intolleranza al glutine è lo stesso? Spisni risponde a Bressanini” abbia scatenato un acceso dibattito. Ecco le risposte di Enzo Spisni, docente di Fisiologia della Nutrizione all’Università di Bologna, ai tanti commenti dei lettori del Fatto Alimentare.
Prima l’incipit. Ho sottolineato che tutti possono fare divulgazione scientifica, ma solo tre figure hanno le competenze e possono (per la legge italiana) modificare il modo di alimentarsi e la dieta delle persone. In un paese in cui troppi parlano di diete senza avere competenze e in cui famosi farmacisti vanno in televisione a suggerire diete e dichiarano di avere migliaia di “pazienti”, mi sembra quantomeno un appunto doveroso.
Veniamo alle definizioni. Si definiscono antichi o tradizionali le cultivar presenti prima della cosiddetta “Rivoluzione Verde”. Le differenze sostanziali tra i grani pre-rivoluzione e quelli post-rivoluzione possiamo riassumerle in quattro punti:
1. La forza del glutine. Si parte da grani che hanno un valore W di forza del glutine di 10-50 e si arriva ai moderni che hanno una forza intorno ai 300-400. È evidente che la struttura del glutine cambia per venire incontro alle necessità dell’industrializzazione degli alimenti.
2. La taglia. I grani pre-rivoluzione sono a taglia alta (diciamo oltre il metro e trenta), mentre i post sono a taglia bassa (molto al di sotto del metro).
3. La produttività per ettaro, che aumenta molto nei moderni a fronte però dell’aumento dell’input di azoto attraverso la concimazione. Lascio il discorso su quanto azoto per ettaro agli agronomi, ma chi in campo è passato dal coltivare moderni in convenzionale a grani antichi in biologico si è reso ben conto del risparmio in denaro generato dalla minore concimazione e dal minore uso di chimica.
4. La minore variabilità genetica, nel senso che le cultivar antiche erano un insieme di genotipi con una biodiversità complessivamente elevata, mentre post-rivoluzione si è andati verso la selezione di grani “in purezza”, fatta di piante tutte geneticamente identiche, con una perdità netta di biodiversità non trascurabile. In altre parole è cambiato il concetto di adttamento: mentre una variabilità genetica ampia è in grado di adattarsi ai mutamenti ambientali, una variabilità genetica ridotta richiede un maggior intervento dell’uomo nel tentativo di meglio adattare il campo al tipo di grano coltivato. E l’intervento dell’uomo molto spesso si traduce in utilizzo di prodotti chimici.

How to grow organic

by luciano

Organic cultivation is a method of production that has its basic principles in the care of soil fertility and in the balance of the environment in which it is grown. It is therefore not the substitution of fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides, pesticides in general, with what is admitted by the European regulation, but the correct application of the principles of agro ecology, having as its objective to increase the biodiversity in the soil and the ground for the search for nutritional and environmental balance. The main actions on which it is based are:
• Improve and increase organic fertility – through the use of composted organic fertilizers, the practice of green manure, the burial of crop residues is the inclusion in large rotations of legume crops, in order to increase the quantity and quality of the organic substance of the soil. To support yields and improve the quality of production, it is possible to resort to the list of fertilizers allowed by the regulation;
• Rotation or rotation of crops – is the key to the success of herbaceous and horticultural crops. A Ministry decree indicates that: between a crop and its return on the same land, there is the cultivation of at least two cycles of different crops, of which at least one is composed of legumes or a green manure. This should be considered the minimum certifiable limit, it would be appropriate to diversify as much as possible the type of crops, also to encourage the company biodiversity. The rotation is then the main control element of weeds supplemented by mechanical actions and containment and prevention against pathologies and pests;
• The varietal choice – to date, research has produced and tested very few specific varieties for the organic; it is therefore useful to base oneself on the technical know-how and experience of organic producers in your area, to orient oneself to varieties that have demonstrated adaptability to the territory, ability to compete with weeds and resistance to major adversities. This attention is very valid for new plants of fruit trees and tree crops in general;
• Creation of hedges and trees – useful not only to improve the landscape but to increase biodiversity, therefore the protection of crops, giving hospitality to natural predators of pests and also acting as a physical barrier to possible external pollutants;
• The consociation – not turning over the ground over 25/30 cm and ensuring the breaking of the deeper layers with disjointed tools, always trying to protect the soil, favoring stability with suitable hydraulic arrangements and applying, where possible and especially in the arboretums vegetable cover;
The systematic application of these techniques helps to create balance in the company; if, however, it is necessary to intervene to defend crops from pests and other adversities, the farmer can make use of the products allowed by the European Regulation, listed in the annexes with the criterion of the so-called “positive list”.
From: AIAB – Italian Biological Agriculture Association – has a federal structure with the central office in Rome and 15 Regional Associations operating autonomously in the area with its own offices and collaborators (regional offices in Basilicata, Campania, Calabria, Emilia Romagna , Friuli Venezia Giulia, Lazio, Lombardy, Liguria, Marche, Molise, Piedmont, Puglia, Sicily, Umbria, Veneto).