DAVIS, CALIF. – Arcadia Biosciences, Inc. has received a grant that should provide $1.99 million in funding for research to develop reduced-gluten grains. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, awarded the grant.

Gluten is a mixture of proteins found in cereal grains such as wheat, barley and rye. People have been known to suffer from digestive problems because of gluten intolerance. The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, Ambler, Pa., estimates 3 million Americans have celiac disease and must avoid gluten completely.

The research aims to identify genetic variants of cereal grains in which the most harmful components of gluten have been reduced naturally. The internal research team of Arcadia Biosciences, an agricultural technology company based in Davis, will collaborate with Dr. Karol Sestak, Ph.D., an associate professor of microbiology and immunology at Tulane University in New Orleans.

“Concern about the health effects of gluten is of increasing importance to global consumers and is a rapidly growing market for food manufacturers,” said Eric Rey, president and chief executive officer of Arcadia Biosciences. “The goal of our reduced-gluten grains research program is to develop wholesome grains that provide a wider range of food choices for people with gluten intolerance and celiac disease.”