THE Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC) is increasing demand for Australian wheat by helping Chinese flour millers and food manufacturers take advantage of mounting consumer interest in healthy whole grain products.
A virtual seminar hosted by AEGIC attracted about 40 representatives from the Chinese flour and food industries keen to learn about the benefits of using Australian wheat for whole grain foods.
Participants were given an overview of the health benefits of whole grain flour and the advantages of Australian white wheat.
Previous AEGIC research proved that Australian white wheat is best for whole grain bread in appearance and flavour when compared with competitor red wheat from origins such as North America and the Black Sea.
Millers were provided with practical technical information about the best approaches for effectively milling whole grain flour using Australian wheat.
Recent AEGIC research into incorporating whole grain flour in Asian products, including bread, instant noodles, steamed buns and youtiao – a type of fried breadstick popular across Asia – was delivered.
AEGIC general manager research and technical services Dr Ken Quail said incorporating Australian whole grain wheat into Asian products was a great opportunity for Asian processors and Australian growers alike.
“There is growing interest in the health benefits of whole grains. Over the next decade, we expect increased consumption of whole grain products across all Asian markets,” he said.
“By 2030, whole grain products could be 10 per cent of the bread market in Asia, a potential 1.0 million tonne market worth $360 million in total.”
Dr Quail said Australia was the world’s only major exporter of white wheat.
“Most other wheat exporting countries grow wheat with a darker red bran colour. This gives us a strategic advantage for whole grain products because of the superior colour and flavour attributes of Australian wheat in whole grain products,” he said.
“Demonstrating that Australian white wheat is the best option for whole grain food – and providing useful information about how to use it – makes it more likely that buyers will choose Australian wheat.”