A new wheat subclass could emerge specifically for Asian noodle manufacturers, with South Australian wheat growers in the box seat to benefit.
The Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre is doing flour mill trials in Taiwan, Japan and Korea using Australian hard wheat.
The millers are testing specific wheat types flagged as having potential for premium-quality noodles.
If the research is successful, it could result in a new AH subclass called AH (N).
The creation of a new subclass would ultimately be a decision of Grains Australia.
The development of the new high value noodle market for South Australian growers is a co-investment between the GRDC and the South Australian Grain Industry Trust.
AEGIC senior research scientist Siem Siah and AEGIC general manager research and technical services Ken Quail visited a major flour milling company in Taiwan recently to trial selected AH varieties.
The milling company was instrumental in driving wheat consumption in Taiwan, where rice once dominated.
This company now has the largest milling market share in Taiwan and makes a range of different flours, including many specialty noodle flours.
The Australian delegation presented a seminar on Australian wheat for Asian noodles for the technical team, then conducted noodle and steamed bun trials using flour samples from Australia.
"The trials were very successful with our preferred wheat types delivering the best scores compared with the control samples," Dr Siah said.
The Taiwan visit followed similar missions to Japan and Korea earlier this year to run trials for Japanese and Korean-style noodles made using AH wheats.
In Japan, trials with a major flour milling company showed the majority of the Australian-preferred varieties performed the best.
Japan currently imports Western Australian noodle wheat specifically for udon noodles.
"There are opportunities for more Australian wheat types to be used for other noodle styles, such as ramen," Dr Siah said.
For the Korean trials, Dr Siah and Matt Yamamoto, AEGIC program manager - economics and market insights, worked with three major flour mills, which represented more than half of the market share in South Korea.
Again, the results showed most of the prospective AH wheat varieties identified had potential for premium noodles.
SAGIT chair Andrew Barr said the Trust was pleased to support the AEGIC investment.
"We believe the results of this project could potentially add value to the South Australian wheat crop by developing more targeted segregations for high value uses," he said.
GRDC grower relations manager - south Rebekah Starick said for several years, GRDC and SAGIT have partnered by co-investing in a range of research, development and extension.
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