BMe Research Grant


LANGÓ Bernadett



BMe Research Grant - 2019


George A. Olah Doctoral School of Chemistry and Chemical Technology 

BME VBK, Department of Applied Biotechnology and Food Science

Supervisor: Dr. Tömösközi Sándor

Study on the food use purpose of triticale (X Triticosecale W.)

Introducing the research area

In my research, I did a complex nutritional and technological study on the potential food use of cereal crop triticale, taking into account the aspects of both chemistry (food) and agriculture (breeding) disciplines.


Brief introduction of the research place


My research was carried out at the Cereal Science and Food Quality Research Group of BME ABÉT and at the Cereal Chemistry and Technology Laboratory of Cereal Research Non-profit Ltd., Szeged, Hungary under a shared supervision of Dr. Sándor Tömösközi and Dr. Lajos Bóna. The professional activity of my university research team consists of education and research on food quality and cereal grains, while the main profile of the Cereal Research Institute is breeding cereals, protein- and oil plants, and the production and marketing of their own seed.


History and context of the research


Cereals have played a fundamental role in human nutrition for thousands of years. The various consumer trends (increasing food demand, health-conscious nutrition, discovered food-related diseases); furthermore the changing environmental factors (climatic conditions, sustainability) have brought new challenges to the food industry, and also to the agriculture. For some of the above challenges, the young cereal crop, triticale offers a good alternative [1, 2].


Triticale (x Triticosecale Wittmack) is the first man-made cereal hybrid by crossing wheat (Triticum sp.) and rye (Secale cereale), which has been cultivated (Figure 1). Its history began in the second half of the 19th century. The purpose of triticale plant was to combine the yield potential and baking quality of wheat with resistance (biotic and abiotic stress tolerance) of rye [3]. The plant become successful and it is now grown on more than 4 million hectares worldwide [4].From the beginning, Hungary played an important role in the establishment of the triticale plant, and Árpád Kiss produced the first two stabile and fertile cultivars in the world in Kecskemét, Hungary [5]. Recently, the Hungarian triticale breeding has risen; Hungary is in the top 10 most important triticale producing countries in the world [4].


Figure 1 Triticale plant, ear and seeds (cultivar: GK Szemes) (own photo)


Triticale is basically used for animal feed, because the nutritional composition and technological characteristics of the first varieties were weaker, than the expected average wheat quality. In recent decades, the breeders have tried to improve features affecting usability, so research and product development for food use has started anew. However, expanding this subject related knowledge, especially the examination of nutritional and technological properties, the study of the factors influencing the quality of the end product, and the understanding of the relationship between the composition and function is necessary for further material and product development [2, 6].


The research goals, open questions


The aim of my research was the complex characterization of the triticale breeding material of Cereal Research Institute, according to the aspects of human use, thus the objectives of the research were as follows:

     characterization of the grain chemical properties

     detailed study on those macromolecules (carbohydrates, proteins), which influence both nutritional and technological aspects

     determination of the technological characteristics of triticale genotypes, using rheological (kneading and viscosity) and end-product tests

     evaluation of the genotypic and environmental variability of the analyzed parameters

     comparison of compositional, nutritional, rheological and end-product characteristics with the values of a selected representative of the parental species (wheat and rye)

     studying the relationship between chemical characteristics and technological parameters, interpreting the background of the experienced technological behavior.



Materials: For the research, I used the hexaploid breeding material and according to our aims, I created a sample group of 10 genotypes, which contained 7 advanced lines (Tc1, Tc2, Tc3, Tc4, Tc5, Tc6, Tc7) from F4-6 generation and 3 registered cultivars (GK Rege, GK Idus and GK Szemes). As controls, I used Jubilejna-50 (J-50) wheat and Wibro rye varieties as they have average quality and had already been described in the literature. For the tests I used whole meal samples.


Methods: The nutritional composition (crude protein, crude fat, starch, ash, dietary fiber, minerals) was measured according to the relevant standards. In the case of specific components, I worked with literary methods, in several cases in the framework of international cooperation. Quantitative analysis of arabinoxylans, β-glucan and resistant starch was performed among the fiber constituents. I performed the analysis of starch properties (granule size, amylose amylopectin ratio, amylopectin chain length, and hydrolysis) at University of Saskatchewan, Canada. For the determination of protein characteristics (gluten content, ratio of gliadin and glutenin fractions), the method developed for the investigation of wheat proteins was used. Technological characteristics were investigated using solvent retention capacity (SRC) method at Michigan State University, USA. Furthermore, rheological properties were studied by Mixolab method. Studies on enzyme activity (falling number, α-amylase activity) were carried out in collaboration with the University of Sydney’s Narrabri breeding institute, Australia. In addition, I have also performed end-product tests (micro-bread baking).



According to the results of macro component analysis, I found that the chemical composition of the triticale varieties and lines is similar to that of the parental species, showing the values between wheat and rye (Figure 2). Cultivar GK Idus has a high content of crude protein, crude fat and dietary fiber, whilst GK Rege has a high content of crude fat and soluble dietary fiber compared to the other tested triticales. GK Szemes shows stable average values for all the parameters studied. Breeding lines Tc2, Tc4, and Tc5 performed outstandingly [S1].



Figure 2 Macro component composition in the analyzed wheat (A), triticale (B) and rye (C) samples (n=10 genotypes, average of 3 years and 2 locations)


Dietary fiber characteristics of triticale showed a higher proportion of soluble fibers and arabinoxylans compared to the control wheat variety, which is nutritionally beneficial [S2]. I have proved that the macro components are also slightly dependent on the environmental effects (location, crop year) besides the significant genotypic effect [S1, S4]. By examining the mineral composition, the genotypic effect was found to be significant for each element. The analysis of variance confirmed the significant location and crop year influence. In addition to the strong environmental effect, the examined triticale varieties and lines also had significantly higher values in the mineral composition of Ca, Mg, Cu and Zn, irrespective of the year and place of production, compared to the wheat and rye controls.


I started the analysis of technological properties by measuring SRC. According to the results, half of the tested triticale genotypes’ (GK Rege, GK Szemes, Tc4, Tc5 and Tc7) SRC profiles showed similarity with the profile of the comparative wheat variety (Figure 3). Based on this, I expected the most favorable end-product properties in these genotypes, which was later confirmed by the micro-bread baking test [S2].


 (WSRC= water SRC, SASRC= saccharose SRC, LASRC= lactic acid SRC, NaSRC= NaCO3 SRC)

Figure 3 SRC profiles of triticale cultivars (A) and lines (B) compares to control wheat and rye


 Mixolab measurement is a combination of kneading and viscosity tests of the dough. The kneading properties of the triticales, although below the optimum values of wheat, are more stable compared to rye. In the dough system, the viscosity of the triticale is lower, but the stability of the structure formed by the gelation is good, which indicates favorable properties for the final product (longer shelf life, better consistency). Using the differences between genotypes, varieties can be selected for distinct purposes. According to the detailed protein and carbohydrate test results, I found correlations with protein (gluten content, differences found in gluten proteins) and carbohydrate (water soluble arabinoxylans, starch composition) characteristics in the background of rheological behavior in triticale (Figure 4) [S3].


Examining the enzymatic background of the low viscosity observed in triticale, it was found that not only the intensified hydrolytic enzyme activity (mostly amylases) plays role, but also grain physical properties, chemical composition (crude protein, sugars) and starch characteristics (particle size, amylopectin chain length, hydrolysis characteristics). Thus, I confirmed the suggestion that the classification of triticale viscous properties should be done by eliminating enzymes differently from wheat evaluation, so providing a more accurate picture of the viscous characteristics.


Figure 4 Mixolab curves of the three triticale cultivars, and control wheat and rye and the characteristics in the background of their behaviour


The properties of whole meal triticale micro breads can be characterized with higher volume and lower weight, similarly to the wheat control. The porous properties of the triticale breads were also similar to wheat sample (Figure 5). The Tc4 and Tc5 lines, as well as the GK Rege and GK Szemes cultivars showed the greatest similarity to the wheat bread as it was expected from SRC tests. On the basis of the statistical results, the presence of fibers, so the modification in composition reduces the difference between the properties influenced by proteins and starch which is well known. Thus, using whole meal similar end-product quality could be achieved as optimal wheat [S2].


Figure 5 Wheat (A), triticale (GK Szemes) (B) and rye (C) whole meal micro breads and their crumbs


According to the correlation analysis, the lactic acid SRC method is suitable to indirectly deduce certain properties of bakery products (bread weight (-0.65; p < 0.01), volume (0.75; p < 0.05)). The method is simple and requires a small amount of sample, so even in the early breeding phase - when large amount of samples are not yet available to perform rheological and baking tests – applicable. That makes the selection easier, and the breeding period can be shortened, which is a great help in breeding [S2].


Based on the results, it can be stated, that modern triticale genotypes could be used for human purposes, like the parental species. Considering all the parameters examined, I have identified triticale varieties that are not only suitable but advantageous for food use. Breeding lines can be used in breeding to achieve special goals e.g. increasing dietary fiber content, soluble fiber ratio, and arabinoxylan content, gluten protein composition, and starch composition modification [S5, S6].


Expected impact and further research


1.    Theoretical results:

The results provide valuable information about the nutritional properties and the protein and carbohydrate background of the technological behavior of triticale, and about the variability of these parameters depending on the genotype and environment. This research work was awarded the 1st prize in the PhD category at the K&H “Sustainable Agriculture” Scholarship in 2017.


2.    Practical results:

The results could be proper guidance for further quality improvement during breeding. In the future, new varieties with improved nutritional benefits and more favorable technological characteristics can be developed, which could help keep the position of Hungarian varieties in seed market.


Figure 6 Triticale bread trade by Szegedi Sütödék Ltd.


As there is no such a comprehensive evaluation on triticale considering human use aspects, the results of the thesis provide a good basis to develop a complex quality requirement system for triticale. These results could help the industry define the parameters of usability, thereby helping to develop and expand food use potential of triticale. As a result of a project (GOP 1.1.1.-11-2012-0044) related to this topic, bakeries in the south-eastern area of Hungary have started selling bakery products made using triticale flour under the trademark “Szögedi Rozsbuza” (Figure 6).


Publications, references, links

List of corresponding own publications.

[S1]  B. Langó, L. Bóna, E. Ács, S. Tömösközi. Nutritional features of triticale as affected by genotype, crop year, and location. Acta Alimentaria, 46:(2) pp. 238–245. DOI: 10.1556/066.2017.46.2.14 (2017) IF: 0,384

[S2]  B. Langó, L. Bóna, P. K. W. Ng, E. Ács, K. Török, S. Tömösközi. Evaluation of carbohydrate properties and end-use quality of hexaploid triticale and its relationship to solvent retention capacity. Journal of Cereal Science, 84, pp. 95–102. (2018) DOI: 10.1016/j.jcs.2018.10.005 IF: 2,302

[S3] B. Langó, S. Jaiswal, L. Bóna, S. Tömösközi, E. Ács, C. Ravindra. Grain constituents and starch characteristics influencing in vitro enzymatic starch hydrolysis in Hungarian triticale genotypes developed for food consumption. Cereal Chemistry, 95:(6), 861–871. (2018) DOI: 10.1002/cche.10104 IF: 1,138

[S4]   Langó B., Bóna L., Ács P., Tömösközi S. Szegedi tritikálé genotípusok beltartalmi összetételének jellemzése. Élelmiszer-Tudomány Technológia, LXX:(3) pp. 20–25. (2016) IF:-

[S5]    L. Bóna, E. Ács, C. Lantos, S. Tömösközi, B. Langó. Human utilization of triticale: technological and nutritional aspects. Communications in Agricultural and Applied Biological Sciences, 79:(4) pp. 139–152. (2014) IF:-

[S6] Langó B., Ács E., Tömösközi S., Bóna L. Szemfizikai- és kémiai jellemzők változása tritikálé szülő-utód párosokban. Acta Agronomica Óváriensis, 59:(1) pp. 13–26. (2018) IF:-


List of other publications.

B. Langó, A. G. Fehér, B. Z. Bicskei, E. Jaksics, R. Németh, D. Bender, S. D’Amico, R. Schoenlechner, S. Tömösközi.   The effect of different laboratory-scale sample preparation methods on the composition of sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.) and millet (Panicum miliaceum L.) milling fractions. Periodica Polytechnica Chemical Engineering, 62:(4) pp. 426–431. (2018) IF: 0,877

R. Németh, D. Bender, E. Jaksics, M. Calicchino, B. Langó, S. D’Amico, K. Török, R Schhoenlechner, S. Tömösközi. Investigation of the effect of pentosan addition and enzyme treatment on the rheological properties of millet flour based model dough systems, Food Hydrocolloids, 94, pp. 381–390. (2019) IF: 5,089

S. D'Amico, J. Mäschle J, M. Jekle, S. Tömösközi, B. Langó, R. Schöenlechner. Effect of high temperature drying on gluten-free pasta properties. LWT-Food Science and Technology, 63:(1) pp. 391–399. (2015) IF: 3,129

S. D'Amico, R. Schöenlechner, S. Tömösközi, B. Langó. Proteins and amino acids of kernels. In: Haros C. M., Schoenlechner R. (szerk.) Pseudocereals: Chemistry and technology. Hoboken (NJ): John Wiley and Sons Ltd., pp. 94–118. (2017) ISBN: 978-111-8938-28-7

S. Tömösközi, B. Langó. Buckwheat: Its unique nutritional and health-promoting attributes. In: Taylor J., Awika J. (szerk.) Gluten-free ancient grains: cereals, pseudocereals, and legumes: sustainable, nutritious, and health-promoting foods for the 21st century. Cambridge: Woodhead Publishing Ltd., pp. 161–177. (2017) ISBN: 978-008-1008-66-9.

E. Ács, L. Bóna, B. Langó, K. Ács, P. Pepó, I. M. Petróczi. The analysis of flour blends as affected by behavior of two different quality flours of triticale under different fertilizer treatments. Agrártudományi Közlemények/Acta Agraria Debreceniensis, (70) pp. 5–8. (2016) IF:-

Ács E., Bóna L., Langó B., Véha A., Pepó P., Petróczi I. Szegedi tritikálé fajták fontosabb minőségi jellemzőinek változása műtrágyázási tartamkísérletben. Agrártudományi Közlemények/Acta Agraria Debreceniensis, (67) pp. 21–26. (2016) IF:-


Table of links.




Cereal Research Non-profit Ltd.

dietary fiber

GK Idus

GK Rege

GK Szemes


Árpád Kiss

Michigan State University





University of Saskatchewan

University of Sydney



List of references.

[1] Shewry, P. R., Hey, S. (2015). The contribution of wheat to human diet and health. Food and Energy Security, 4, 3, 178–202.

[2] Pena, R. J. (2004). Food uses of triticale. FAO Plant Production and Protection Paper, 179, 37-48.

[3] Darvey, N. L., Naeem, H. and Gustafson, J. P. (1991). Triticale: production and utilization. In: Kulo K., Ponte J. G. Jr. (Eds.) Handbook of Cereal Science and Technology. New York: Marcel Dekker. pp. 257–274.

[4] FAOSTAT (2017). Hozzáférhető:

[5] Kiss, Á. (1968). Triticale, a homok új gabonája. Mezőgazdasági Kiadó, Budapest. pp 10, 179.

[6] McGoverin, C. M., Snyders, F., Muller, N., Botes, W., Fox, G. and Manley, M. (2011). A review of triticale uses and the effect of growth environment on grain quality.  Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 91, 7, 1155–1165.