A l'UM la science [S01-ep12]: From varietal mixes to the food technology workshop

This week, Hélène Fréville from theAGAP Institute for Genetic Improvement and Adaptation of Tropical and Mediterranean Plants, talks about the performance of varietal mixtures in wheat growing. In the second half of the program, Charles Cunault introduces you to the food technology platform.

10,000 years ago, between the Mediterranean and the Euphrates, the first lines of a long, long story were written. The story of man's domestication of wheat. Although the first crops were grown from spontaneous crosses between wild grasses, man quickly perfected his practices - that is, over a period of several thousand years - gradually leading to the emergence of hardier, more productive species. From then on, the history of mankind and that of wheat remained inextricably linked, with the blending of varieties as civilizations interchanged. The Middle Ages saw the development of new cultivation methods: fields were ploughed and enlarged. By the 16th century, regions such as Beauce, Brie and Haute Auvergne were already specialized in cereal production. However, it wasn't until the 19th century that we really began to talk about breeding, with the first genealogical work on wheat by Louis de Vilmorin, who gave rise to the first modern wheat varieties: Vilmorin varieties. You can't be creative with every plant... The 20th century and the post-war period marked a turning point in the cultivation of this cereal, which is made up of over 30,000 genes and 42 chromosomes. More than ever, the objective was to increase yields. In just 50 years, France tripled its production by introducing single-variety crops.

These monovarietal crops are now being called into question by agroecology, as our guest explains. Hélène Fréville is a researcher at the AGAP Institute for Genetic Improvement and Adaptation of Tropical and Mediterranean Plants. She presents her work on the performance of varietal mixtures in wheat cultivation, analyzed from a genetic perspective. Her study was published in New Phytologist on January 26.

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In the second half of the show, we take you on a tour of leek washing, potato peeling, rice cooking and apple blanching, but please note that this is not cooking, it's process engineering. Charles Cunault takes us on a tour of this food technology workshop at the Montpellier IUT.

At UM la science you've got the program, here we go!

Coproduction: Divergence FM / Université de Montpellier
Lucie Lecherbonnier
Aline Périault / Lucie Lecherbonnier
Reportage :
Aline Périault
Production : Anna Demeulandre

Listen to the program "A l'UM la science" on Divergence FM 93.9

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