Dispatches: AACCI annual meeting 2014

Non-GMO soft durum wheat promising for bakers, says USDA-ARS

By Kacey Culliney contact

- Last updated on GMT

USDA-ARS director: 'Wheat is as genetically diverse as all of us... and we need to take that genetic variation into mind'
USDA-ARS director: 'Wheat is as genetically diverse as all of us... and we need to take that genetic variation into mind'

Related tags: Durum wheat, Wheat

The USDA’s Agricultural Research Service has developed a soft durum wheat variety that can be used in a range of baked goods.

The team at USDA-ARS developed the soft durum variety by altering the gene chromosomes in the kernel through non-GMO methods.

USDA-ARS director Dr. Craig Morris said the work took a number of years.

“It’s by no means a trivial lab exercise,”​ he told attendees at the AACCI’s annual meeting in Providence, Rhode Island earlier this month. “…Wheat is as genetically diverse as all of us sitting in this room and we need to take that genetic variation into mind.”

The reason durum wheat was so hard, he said, was because the grain lacked puroindolines – molecular genes that heavily influenced texture and hardness in wheat grains.

“I asked myself, can we repair this? Can we go back and make the durum soft as it perhaps should have been originally? The answer is absolutely yes.”

Morris and his team moved the puroindolines – located on small chromosomes in wheat – into hard durum wheat. “And low and behold we have a soft endosperm,” ​he said.

Soft wheat, loose starch

wheat flour

Morris said the softness of wheat kernels had a “profound influence” ​on the milling and baking quality of grains.

The texture and size of flour milled was different, he said, but it could still be milled through regular hard durum mills.

“The hallmark of soft wheat is that the starch granules are fairly loose in the endosperm matrix,”​ he explained.

That transpired, in some cases, to better baking, he said. For cookies – the soft durum gave better baking rise and for pancakes and chapattis it carried through a warm, yellow color – typically appreciated in pasta and spaghetti.

The USDA-ARS team also ran tests on 100 g bread loaves but found the soft grain didn’t bake the same quality product compared to its hard spring wheat counterpart.

Bread_dough_bakery_iStock

Future research into gluten strengthening ​ 

The team was therefore currently working on further research, Morris said – looking at moving glutenin genes into the soft durum grain. This, he said, should improve dough and gluten strength when baking.

“We’re actually trying to put more oomph into soft durum to see how much we can ramp up the gluten strength.”

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

Beyond the Bar: Innovations in Functional Snacking

Beyond the Bar: Innovations in Functional Snacking

Virginia Dare Extract Co Inc | 09-Sep-2021 | Technical / White Paper

The snacking trend has grown steadily over the past decade and shows no signs of slowing down. Driven primarily by health and wellness snacking, consumers...

Related suppliers

2 comments

lab scale

Posted by Blake Malcolm,

This is a lab scale trial with no current plans for commercialization

Report abuse

commercilization

Posted by Dilek Altay,

we are a biscuit producer in Turkey. it is difficult to find appropriate wheat to get good biscuits. So I wonder this study is only a lab scale study or not. Can we buy tons of this soft wheat?

Report abuse

Follow us

Products

View more

Webinars