The federal government is giving $106,000 to the Prairie Oat Growers Association to fund research trials on the health benefits of oats.
With funding under the AgriScience Program, the St. Boniface Hospital Research Centre in Winnipeg, Man. is working with the non-profit organization to conduct animal feeding trials.
The goal is to determine exactly how oat protein is digested and what effect it has on reducing cholesterol and blood glucose levels.
The data, expected to be published and peer-reviewed by early 2023, is part of a verification process needed to make a health claim that oat protein can positively affect cholesterol and blood glucose.
"This type of funding is essential for commodities like oats to be able to have the necessary research to apply for potential new health claims. Health claims let consumers have a better understanding of how eating certain foods can help improve their health and, if the results are positive, give consumers yet another reason to eat the safe and healthy oats produced right here in Canada,” Shawna Mathieson, executive director, Prairie Oat Growers Association, said in a statement.
Canada is the largest exporter of oats in the world, with export sales valued at $465 million in 2020. The three prairie provinces account for more than 90% of Canada's oat production.