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Black Sea wheat prices, CO2 maize impact, whole grain flour

By Nicola Cottam

- Last updated on GMT

Russia is in a strong position in the global wheat market and export volumes can influence prices in other markets
Russia is in a strong position in the global wheat market and export volumes can influence prices in other markets
Black Sea exports have consequences on world wheat prices, affects of elevated CO2 levels can impact fungal pathogens in maize and improvements in whole wheat flour needed.

Wheat prices impacted by Black Sea exports

Understanding price dynamics between Russia and the Ukraine and other major wheat exporters is an important indicator to accurately predict future price and policy strategies, says a new report.

Wheat exports from Russia and the Ukraine exceeded those of any other country between 2008 and 2010, accounting for 21.3% of world wheat exports, according to the authors.

The Canadian study analyzed relationships between different global wheat markets, looking at the long- and short-term dynamics between wheat prices in the Black Sea countries and the United States, Canada, and EU using monthly world wheat prices (FOB data) from July 2004 to October 2010.

Results suggested a direct correlation between Russian wheat prices and those of France and the US, although not with Canada - probably due to the difference in quality between Russian and Canadian wheat, the authors noted.

Ukrainian prices were also linked to the French market, but not with the US or Canada.

Russia, they said, was therefore in a strong position and export volumes would increasingly influence prices both in France and the US.


Source: Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics
Published online ahead of print, DOI: 10.1111/cjag.1202
“Black Sea and World Wheat Market Price Integration Analysis”
Authors: K. Goychuk and WH. Meyers

Maize fights pathogen contagion

Elevated CO2 levels can increase maize’s susceptibility to some mycotoxigenic fungal pathogens but doesn’t heighten contamination levels, according to researchers.

Researchers at the University of Florida carried out experiments on four seeds germinated in plastic pots to assess their ability to fight fumonisin​ pathogen contamination at high CO2 levels.

The plants were watered daily and received bi-weekly nutrient supplementation. After two weeks 10 kernels on each cob were inoculated with fusarium verticillioides ​and the subsequent fungal growth was monitored.

The effects of CO2 on the development of ear rot and stalk rot was evaluated by comparing the severity of fusarium verticillioides​ infection of the maize.

Scientists found no significant difference in fumonisin​ contaminants in either the kernel or the stalk tissues and results suggested pathogen production is not proportional to the increase in fusarium verticillioides​ biomass. Fumonisin​ production actually fell at elevated CO2 levels.

The researchers concluded that while elevated CO2 levels enhance maize susceptibility to fusarium verticillioides​, it does not alter the severity of fumonisin​ contamination.

Source: Plant, Cell & Environment
DOI: 10.1111/pce.12337
“Effects of elevated [CO2] on maize defence against mycotoxigenic Fusarium verticillioides”
Authors: MM. Vaughan, A. Huffaker, EA. Schmelz, NJ. Dafoe, S.Christensen, J. Sims, VF. Martins, J. Swerbilow, M. Romero, HT. Alborn, L. Hartwell Allen and PEA. Teal

Whole grain flour shelf life and quality needs improvement

As demand for whole grain wheat flour increases, practical solutions need to be explored to find ways of prolonging the shelf life and improving the technological properties, Italian researchers say.

The baking industry closely monitors hygiene and the nutritional, functional and technological aspects of flours, but the researchers said the focus must now be placed on shelf life and sensory aspects.

Wheat grain is cultivated in all continents and is often distributed over thousands of miles, so the additional challenge is to develop technology to increase shelf-life.

“Today, the mills work thousands of tons a day, and distribute the product hundreds – if not thousands – of miles away. It is therefore indispensable to research mild and friendly technologies that will give a prolonged shelf-life to whole grain flours,”​ they wrote.

In addition, there needed to be a focus on improving the sensory aspect of whole grain flour.

Developing methods to improve whole grain properties to obtain bread and other end-products with sensory characteristics similar to refined flour must be looked at, they said.


Source: Bakery Products Science and Technology, Second Edition
DOI: 10.1002/9781118792001.ch2
“Wheat Milling and Flour Quality Evaluation”
Authors : MA. Pagani, A. Marti and G. Bottega

Related topics: Milling & Grains

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