Research Topic

Wheat Contamination: a Challenge or an Opportunity for Food Science?

About this Research Topic

Wheat (Triticum aestivum) is amongst the most commonly farmed crops worldwide, and wheat-based products are the primary source of calories and protein (that have originated from vegetable sources) for the human diet. Wheat grains are typically processed into flour which is used in the manufacturing of bread, pasta, and cookies, for culinary purposes or other industrial sectors.

Moreover, wheat is highly relevant from both economic and nutritional points of view, but it is susceptible to different types of contamination. Among these potential contaminants is fungal disease. This disease can negatively affect grain quality and the production of toxic metabolites, the so-called ‘mycotoxins’ (i.e., secondary metabolites with toxic properties that are formed by fungi). While there is considerable concern about the contamination of wheat and wheat-based products by mycotoxins, other forms of contaminants, such as potentially toxic elements (PTEs) like heavy metals, pesticides, and other chemical contaminants have also attracted considerable attention.

Thanks to recent developments in agricultural practices, the level of these contaminations in wheat grains have reduced. However, due to climate change, urbanization, and other human activities, particularly in the last decade, there has been growing concern about the level of contamination of this strategic crop. In this regard, using suitable processing techniques is always a top priority. Among these techniques are the biology-based process methods (such as using other living beings), and these are being used as one of the most environmentally-friendly specific, and efficient approaches for the processing of a wide range of contaminates. In addition, the application of newly introduced technologies, such as cold plasma, ozone, irradiation, or enzymatic and bioremediation in improving the quality, safety, and nutritional value of wheat is among the most trending agricultural research today.

However, based on the current literature, the application of new technologies alone, or even combined with conventional techniques, is still in the primary stages of evaluation, although we can predict the implementation of these new technologies in the future to deliver a safe product of high quality and nutritional value. In this regard, each of the methods alone or in combination with others has the potential to help us achieve our goal of producing safe wheat with fewer changes in the nutritional and technological properties of the crop.

In this Research Topic, the submission of all types of manuscripts, including original research, review, systematic review, and preliminary investigations besides short communications addressing the following topics are encouraged:
• Approaches to new technologies in the cultivation of wheat
• Further improvements in the pre-harvest, harvest, and post-harvest / of wheat grains by combining multiple techniques in order to control the common and emerging contaminations of wheat
• Combining conventional techniques with green techniques in all stages of wheat production in order to reduce contamination
• Addressing new challenges for wheat production through changes in agriculture practices
• Improving the quality of wheat by using the new techniques to define the required levels for quality, safety, and nutritional values of the final wheat product
• Ideas for how to establish the required standard for wheat production based on predicted future demands
• Discussion of the effects of climate change on wheat contamination
• Approaches to novel methods on the production of a possible contamination-free grain
• The effect of Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) on the contamination of wheat, and further comparison with organic wheat
• Introducing new decontamination methods to remove or reduce the common and emerging contaminations of wheat
• Adoption of available decontamination methods to eliminate the common and emerging contaminations of wheat


Keywords: wheat, wheat contamination, food science, grain, new technologies, green techniques, wheat production, GMO, Triticum aestivum, quality, decontamination, technique, safety


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Wheat (Triticum aestivum) is amongst the most commonly farmed crops worldwide, and wheat-based products are the primary source of calories and protein (that have originated from vegetable sources) for the human diet. Wheat grains are typically processed into flour which is used in the manufacturing of bread, pasta, and cookies, for culinary purposes or other industrial sectors.

Moreover, wheat is highly relevant from both economic and nutritional points of view, but it is susceptible to different types of contamination. Among these potential contaminants is fungal disease. This disease can negatively affect grain quality and the production of toxic metabolites, the so-called ‘mycotoxins’ (i.e., secondary metabolites with toxic properties that are formed by fungi). While there is considerable concern about the contamination of wheat and wheat-based products by mycotoxins, other forms of contaminants, such as potentially toxic elements (PTEs) like heavy metals, pesticides, and other chemical contaminants have also attracted considerable attention.

Thanks to recent developments in agricultural practices, the level of these contaminations in wheat grains have reduced. However, due to climate change, urbanization, and other human activities, particularly in the last decade, there has been growing concern about the level of contamination of this strategic crop. In this regard, using suitable processing techniques is always a top priority. Among these techniques are the biology-based process methods (such as using other living beings), and these are being used as one of the most environmentally-friendly specific, and efficient approaches for the processing of a wide range of contaminates. In addition, the application of newly introduced technologies, such as cold plasma, ozone, irradiation, or enzymatic and bioremediation in improving the quality, safety, and nutritional value of wheat is among the most trending agricultural research today.

However, based on the current literature, the application of new technologies alone, or even combined with conventional techniques, is still in the primary stages of evaluation, although we can predict the implementation of these new technologies in the future to deliver a safe product of high quality and nutritional value. In this regard, each of the methods alone or in combination with others has the potential to help us achieve our goal of producing safe wheat with fewer changes in the nutritional and technological properties of the crop.

In this Research Topic, the submission of all types of manuscripts, including original research, review, systematic review, and preliminary investigations besides short communications addressing the following topics are encouraged:
• Approaches to new technologies in the cultivation of wheat
• Further improvements in the pre-harvest, harvest, and post-harvest / of wheat grains by combining multiple techniques in order to control the common and emerging contaminations of wheat
• Combining conventional techniques with green techniques in all stages of wheat production in order to reduce contamination
• Addressing new challenges for wheat production through changes in agriculture practices
• Improving the quality of wheat by using the new techniques to define the required levels for quality, safety, and nutritional values of the final wheat product
• Ideas for how to establish the required standard for wheat production based on predicted future demands
• Discussion of the effects of climate change on wheat contamination
• Approaches to novel methods on the production of a possible contamination-free grain
• The effect of Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) on the contamination of wheat, and further comparison with organic wheat
• Introducing new decontamination methods to remove or reduce the common and emerging contaminations of wheat
• Adoption of available decontamination methods to eliminate the common and emerging contaminations of wheat


Keywords: wheat, wheat contamination, food science, grain, new technologies, green techniques, wheat production, GMO, Triticum aestivum, quality, decontamination, technique, safety


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

16 June 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

16 June 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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