Aussie wheat takes the cake in Asian biscuit market

Tuesday, 04 February, 2020

Aussie wheat takes the cake in Asian biscuit market

An AEGIC investigation has revealed that the Australian soft wheat industry could take a larger slice of Asia’s cake and biscuit market. The amount of wheat grown in Australia for cakes and biscuits has declined over the last decade and is primarily used by the domestic market. According to AEGIC, Australian Soft (ASFT) wheat and low-protein Australian Noodle Wheat (ANW2) could be suited to some sweet Asian products.

“The increasing demand in Asia means flour millers are open to using Australian wheat, if the quality and price is right,” said Dr Ken Quail, AEGIC General Manager, Research & Technical Services.

The project, led by AEGIC Senior Research Scientist Dr Siem Siah, involved working with flour millers in Indonesia and Japan to assess the baking performance of ASFT and ANW2 wheat varieties, with ANW2 presenting a short- to medium-term opportunity.

“ANW2 is semi-soft, low-protein noodle wheat that falls outside the main grade requirements for premium Japanese noodles. Our research suggests that ANW2 could be used in some cake or biscuit products in Asia. This would be a new market, potentially reducing risk for noodle wheat growers and expanding demand. It’s important to note that ANW2 would only be a partial solution as production is relatively limited,” Dr Quail said.

Building significant soft wheat exports to Asia and parts of Indonesia could be a long-term prospect for Australia.

AEGIC’s Dr Ken Quail (centre) and Daniel Li (left) working with Indonesian flour millers to trial Australian wheat for cakes and biscuits. Image credit: AEGIC.

“This would require a coordinated, long-term effort to breed new soft wheat varieties with not only improved cake and biscuit performance, but also more attractive agronomic qualities for growers,” he said. Thanks to this research, we now have a clearer understanding of Asian market requirements for soft wheat products. This will allow the Australian industry to examine the potential for increasing Australian soft wheat exports,” Dr Quail said.

The research was partially supported by GRDC and collaboration with Indonesian and Japanese flour millers, and the Australian industry, including InterGrain, LongReach, CBH, Premium Grain Handlers, Allied Pinnacle, Stirlings to Coast Farmers and Tony Guiness.

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