Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Researchers & bakers combine to plug mineral gap in UK soil linked to fertility & cancer


A consortium of researchers, farmers and a major baker are working together to fill future supermarket shelves with loaves of bread that will arrest the plummeting levels in the UK diet of a mineral that plays a significant role in male fertility and the prevention of some cancers.

The mineral selenium is of particular importance to men with its role in male fertility and in the prevention of prostate cancer but research has also shown that it can help in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, stimulation of immune function, suppression of inflammatory conditions, and even brain function and development.

The UK’s Food Standards Agency recommends that the daily intake for this key mineral should be 60 to 75 microgrammes per person per day - but UK soils contain low levels of selenium. The average selenium intake in the UK is not only far below that figure but has actually steadily declined between 1986 and 1995 as the proportion of home grown grain used in British bread has increased. Currently the average intake of selenium in Britain stands at just 39 microgrammes a day per person. In 2000 the UK ranked second last in a table of 11 European countries for selenium intake.

Researchers at University of Warwick’s horticultural research arm Warwick HRI have been modelling selenium intake of plants and have carried out a number of field trials to gain a clear understanding of the effectiveness of selenium enhanced fertilisers on the selenium uptake of a number of grains and vegetables. They have gained significant insights into the competition between sulphur and selenium in plants and how several transport proteins interact with both those minerals, and their field trials can now give farmers and growers a much clearer picture of the increased selenium uptake they can expect if using particular selenium enhanced fertilisers. For grain they were able to see a consistent 4 fold increase in selenium uptake.

Consumers and growers will soon literally reap real benefits from this research. The Warwick HRI researchers led by Professor Philip White have now brought together a consortium of University of Warwick researchers, farmers, a fertiliser manufacturer and a major UK baker to develop and market British grain based bread products with enhanced selenium that will appeal to consumers concerned that their current diet is not meeting the recommended intake levels. The identity of the baker in the consortium obviously remains commercially confidential for the moment.

The researchers have also assembled a wealth of information on enhanced selenium uptake in soya and a number of vegetables such as onions, cabbage and potatoes and may form parallel consortia with growers of these products if there is an interest.

Peter Dunn | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Forest Management Yields Higher Productivity through Biodiversity
14.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Farming with forests
23.09.2016 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>