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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 70 No. 5, p. 797-800
    Received: Jan 19, 1978

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Chemical Composition and Potential Uses of Annual Canarygrass1

  1. Robert G. Robinson2



Annual canarygrass (Phalaris canariensis L.) is used for birdfeed, but this research was undertaken to study its chemical composition and evaluate its potential for food or industrial uses. Caryopses and hulls were analyzed for elemental, amino acid, ash, oil, and fiber composition. Roots, stems, and florets were analyzed for elemental composition. Factors to convert N percentage to protein percentage were calculated by dividing 100 by the percentage N in the total amino acids of the caryopses, hulls, or florets. Mature plants from research plots in southeastern and northwestern Minnesota were analyzed by standard methods. Soils were Typic Hapludolls and Vertic Haplaquolls. Caryopses of ‘Alden’, ‘Heracles’, ‘M82’, ‘M89’, ‘M139’ and ‘P.I. 170622 Turkey’ were not markedly different in chemical composition. Canarygrass and oat (Avena saliva L.) differed significantly in elemental composition of florets but not in stem or root composition. Data averaged from 3 years and three locations showed that canarygrass Caryopses had a total amino acid concentration of 19.25% and a N to protein conversion factor of 6.71. The high amino acid concentration placed canarygrass above most grain crops and in a group with many pulse and oilseed crops. Its N-to-protein conversion factor was the highest reported for any crop. Canarygrass caryopses had higher concentrations of all eight essential amino acids than did those reported for wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) or corn (Zea mays L.) caryopses. Canarygrass hulls contained 20% ash. Annual canarygrass is a potential food grain crop.

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