Recent research projects could impact billions of consumers worldwide

The link between the management of chronic illness and crops we consume as staple foods is an exciting area of interest for these early career Australian researchers.

Part of our mission here at ResearchMaster is to support the research that contributes to the global good by means of our state-of-the-art technology, which allows research institutions to streamline their processes.

It can be hard to envision what that actually means when we write it, though—what research, for whom, where? On this blog we’ve previously posted about new—but little celebrated—research from Australians, as well as inventions you probably didn’t know were created here.

Researchers at Charles Sturt University (CSU) contribute to our national (and global) stock of knowledge by studying from “farm gate to plate” how to grow, supply and use agricultural products—it’s one of their areas of specialty, and part of their ongoing mission to build knowledge and create a bridge between community and industry in areas including agriculture, land and water, environment, community and society. This includes research on staple crops and wine production, as well as arrangements like their partnership in the National Marine Bioproducts Research Centre, where they work to develop commercially viable products such as animal medicines and low-environmental impact livestock feed, and where collaborative research with regional communities helps to improve land and water management practices.

Every university in Australia has an obligation to train more researchers through their higher degree by research programs. Projects from recent PhD graduates at CSU involved discovering new information about some of the world’s most important staple food crops, both to improve our understanding of them, and to make them healthier for us.

Recently, Dr Nancy Saji’s project investigated the role of nutrients found in rice in controlling risk factors associated with chronic diseases like type II diabetes and heart disease. Dr Michelle Tourounji’s examination of the digestibility of rice starch was also aimed right at factors affecting chronic illness—in this case, the aim is to apply processes that can help slow digestion, lowering glycaemic index and changing the impact of this mealtime staple on our long-term sensitivity to insulin.

Over 500 million metric tonnes of milled rice are produced in a year worldwide—it’s one of the most important crops in the world. Given that, changing the way people process, think about or consume rice has the potential to affect over 3.5 billion people worldwide for whom it is the staple food.

ResearchMaster is proud to provide Charles Sturt University with the most comprehensive research management system in Australia, including our Higher Degree Research module, which supports administration throughout the whole candidature lifecycle.

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