Based on original genetic variability, in terms of its effects on grain protein, starch and bioactive grain compounds biosynthesis, several new approaches in breeding of winter wheat, winter wheat-spelt, winter/spring hull-less barley and winter triticale were initiated. The final purpose of our initiatives is to introduce on the Ukrainian grain market an array of new varieties of the cereal crops mentioned above with biochemical, technological and nutritional grain characteristics required for development of new food products with functional food status as well as new grain technology end-use. Available in our breeding programs genetic variability, specially developed or transferred to cultivated wheat genome from wild species (gout grass Aegilops tauschii (2n = 2x = 14), Ae. cylindrica (2n = 4x = 28), wild emmer Triticum dicoccoides (2n = 4x = 28) allows us to develop the new bread and biscuit wheat cultivars of the highest quality on red or white grain base. Newly introduced to our breeding programs the original genetic resources makes possible purposefully as well as in the large scale manipulate by wheat grain texture, nutritional and technological starch properties, grain hardness, technological and milling grain characteristics, that is entirely new for Ukrainian breeding, and that allows to enhance substantially the technological and nutritional wheat potential. We were first who initiated development in Ukraine new varieties of winter bread wheat and spelt-wheat, food end-use hull-less barley all possessing with colored (purple, black and blue) grain that allows substantially ameliorate nutritional and functional grain status as well as grain-derived food products of those crops. On the base of colored grain as well as on the wide grain hardness of wheat and food end-use hull-less barley grain we initiated the new for Ukrainian breeding developments – special end-use varieties for grouts and flakes. We also focus on the popularization in Ukraine of the whole-grain food derived from colored cereal grain as an important nutritional factor of health benefits. We initiated new breeding programs of the food end-use hull-less barley (winter, spring, alternative) varieties with elevated grain protein and soluble dietary fiber (beta-glucan), high amylose, low phytate, high anthocyanin and phytomelanin content, high grain antioxidant activity, unique nutrition black grained hull-less barley with ultra-low gluten content. Based on our own research as well as on the widely published foreign developments we make conclusion that the cereal functional food program should become as a state supported strategic program aimed on the health promotion of the Ukrainian nation.
Keywords: wheat, spelt, hull-less barley, triticale, grain quality, proteins, resistant starch, gene introgression, amylose, amylopectin, anthocyanins, antioxidants
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