Scientists create stronger wheat with gluten fortification

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Wheat

Researchers in Texas are working on the development of stronger
gluten flours, designed for use in more resistant bread products.

The project, by the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, is part of the center's research priority shift to encompass the development of high quality as well as high yielding wheat varieties. The ultimate goal of the project, which is funded by the Texas Wheat Producers Board, is to increase exports of Texas wheats by promoting them for their baking and milling quality. According to the Experiment Station, tests across the state have ranked the station's wheat varieties among the top performers when tested for protein content (gluten), seed size and test weight (milling attributes), dough strength (baking), and disease resistance and yields. "Bread producers need stronger gluten flours,"​ said Dr Jackie Rudd, Experiment Station state wheat breeder in Amarillo. "At a meeting of the Wheat Quality Council, Hayden Wands, director of procurement for Sara Lee Corp. said flours with a stronger gluten are needed for breads to ensure they will not squash during stacking on the grocery shelves,"​ he added. Wands also talked about the many new bread products the company offers with ingredients such as blueberries, which further accentuate the need for stronger flours, he said. "Our reputation for good dryland yields has been maintained, but now we are recognized for excellent bread-baking quality,"​ said Rudd, but he added that this does not mean that high yields and disease resistance are taking a back seat. The Experiment Station has had two other recent releases that are topping experiment trial data, according to Rudd. TAM 111, the leading grown variety in the High Plains for both dryland and irrigated wheat, is licensed to AgriPro; and TAM 112, with dryland yields and greenbug resistance, is licensed to Watley Seed Co. of Spearman. Other Texas A&M University system wheat lines recently developed include TAM 304, a disease resistant irrigated variety that has been licensed to Scott Seed Co. of Hereford; and disease resistant TAM 203, licensed to AgriPro Wheat in Vernon. According to Rudd, new experimental lines in the breeding plots "are looking even better than what is now in the field". "We have more good material than we can put into the marketplace. It's an excellent problem to have. It's been nice to be able to discard some lines that are better than wheat we currently have, because we know what we have in the pipeline is even better,"​ said Rudd. "We hope this will lead to increased exports for Texas wheat. The idea is that importers of US wheat will select Texas wheat based on quality rather than cheap price. The US has consistently been the least-cost provider of wheat, but we want Texas wheats to be sought out for their milling and baking quality."

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