AEGIC shares insights on Vietnamese menu

Grain Central, August 25, 2023

Baking bánh mì in Vietnam. Photo: AEGIC

VIETNAM is one of Australia’s most important and unusual wheat markets.

It is one of the few countries that prefers Australian wheat not only for noodles, but for bánh mì as well.

Australian wheat is known for creating bánh mì with a golden crust and excellent flavour that consumers prefer.

Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre wheat quality technical markets manager Larisa Cato and senior economist Chris Carter recently visited Vietnamese flour millers to review key wheat quality traits from previous AEGIC surveys to identify if there have been any changes since the last major survey several years ago.

Also on the AEGIC agenda are: Investigating new uses for Australia’s udon noodle wheat classes, namely Australian Noodle Wheat (ANW) and Australian Premium White Noodle (APWN) to identify if there are opportunities for products other than udon.

And of course, no flour mill visit is complete without some hands-on baking to benchmark key Australian wheat classes and varieties.

Creating evidence of Vietnamese quality preferences for bread helps keep the Australian wheat industry armed with the information it needs to keep supplying wheat that customers want.

Time to bake

The Vietnamese term for bread is “bánh mì”, and it usually refers to a short baguette.

It is often eaten as a breakfast food or snack dipped in condensed milk.

Bánh mì filled with Vietnamese-style meat and vegetable fillings is also popular in Vietnam and around the world, including Australia.

Bánh mì should have a crisp, golden crust and strong, yet soft texture.

Most millers prefer Australian wheat to achieve the best colour, flavour and aroma.

Quality preferences for bánh mì have remained consistent, but the methods of production and sale are evolving.

Increasingly, bakeries are investing into automated production.

Consistent wheat quality is important, along with a need for dough stability, strength and a higher tolerance to fermentation.

New uses for ANW?

While in Vietnam, Dr Cato and Dr Carter continued AEGIC’s investigations into potential new uses for Australia’s udon noodle wheat classes, including steamed buns and fried dough sticks (quẩy/youtiao).

Early benchmarking results look promising.

This project is still in the early stages and more education and training is required to increase awareness of the value of Australia’s noodle wheat classes.

Consumers look for crispiness, firmness, colour, shape and size in their quẩy/youtiao.

For steamed buns, white colour is preferred, along with a firm and chewy mouthfeel and excellent flavour.

Early results suggest Australia’s noodle wheat classes have potential for these products, and our investigations will continue.

Vietnam will remain an important market for Australian wheat and we look forward to getting back there soon. Stay tuned for more updates from our recent in-market engagement.

Source: AEGIC


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