Superfood - Functional Food Plants

Ageing societies develop a consciousness for the link between nutrition and health. This also stimulates the interest for so called Plant Functional Food - this term means that plants are not only eaten, because they are tasty or nutritious, but also to prevent diseases. A topic of rising interest are for instance inflammatory gut diseases, such as celiaky. Alternatives for conventional cereal products are intensively searched. In this context, Amaranth, the staple crop of the Inca, was rediscovered, not only because it is glutene free, but also rich in valuable compounds and anti-inflammatory proteins. In frame of the network Functional Plant Food (funded by the Federal Ministry of Research) we have, in cooperation with Hohenheim University, established characterised by molecular markers an extensive collection of Amaranth. This collection can now be analysed with respect to nutritional value (we cooperate with the lab of Prof. Dr. Mirko Bunzel in the Department of Food Chemistry. The goal of this research is to identify genotypes that are promising for the breeding of novel Amaranth varieties.