Sad prospects

More cereals will grow, but in return breads will turn out flatter because the cereal will contain less protein. That, in a nutshell, is the view of Melbourne University scientists and researchers at the Australian Grains Free Air CO2 Enrichment Facility in the Australian federal state of Victoria regarding the effects of climate change on bread. They expect the protein content of breads to decrease by between 2 and 14 % by 2050 if CO2 pollution develops as has been assumed up to now. This could cause the gluten networks in the dough to be less stable, ultimately resulting in breads becoming flat. Nonetheless the Australian researchers were also able to extract one positive result from the change in the climate. The Australian scientists predict that as the level of CO2 pollution increases, average yields will rise by up to 25 %. They now plan to start by breeding new varieties of wheat that are possibly less susceptible to a reduction in protein content.

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