According to its breeders and supporters, triticale has already shown itself a better performer than other cereals in a range of problem soil environments. It also has demonstrated worth as a break crop and will yield well with less herbicides and pesticides than wheat, barley and oats.
Most triticale now ends up as stockfeed. But a marketing project supported by growers through the GRDC is showing the potential for the human food market.
Human health benefits
Triticale Growers and Marketers Inc. (TGM) investigated market opportunities with assistance from growers through the GRDC. The project, which included a marketing survey, concluded that triticale has a large potential market as a human food.
Obesity, diabetes, diverticular disease, constipation and cardiovascular disease are other conditions identified by the survey where triticale's high fibre (40 per cent higher than wheat) can be a positive factor.
According to the AWB, the fact that triticale has receival standards parallel to wheat opens the way for it to be marketed for human consumption in the near future.
Triticale Growers and Marketers is currently talking with research organisations, growers, millers and bakers to coordinate a trial milling of triticale flour for use in end-products. The Waite Institute will mill a small amount of flour for laboratory testing, while Regency TAFE's Baking School will trial the flour in various breads, cakes and biscuits. A further five tonnes donated by growers may then be commercially milled and distributed, depending on the feedback from the tastings and nutrition research.
Triticale launches into uncharted waters
The Australian Wheat Board has made its first overseas sales of triticale — about 10,000 tonnes from South Australia. And marketers believe this is only the tip of the iceberg.
Destinations are New Zealand, Mauritius and Oman.
The sales are to established wheat customers where the Board identified a demand for stockfeed that delivers nutritional value for money. Marketers hope that these first shipments will demonstrate the potential of the grain.
One market growth area is the Middle East, where nutritional feed for camels is vital.
An early problem — lack of continuity in supply — now seems well on the way to being solved. Production has increased four- or five-fold since the AWB opened a pool. National production is approximately 260,000 tonnes.
South Australia now has 21 receival sites and Victoria 13. Western Australian has four, and NSW five, with many private sites.
Supply this year exceeds domestic demand, and this has enabled the Board to venture into the export market.
Update: Triticale flour
Kath Cooper advises that suppliers of triticale flour have changed since production of her triticale cookery book (featured in issue 11 of Ground Cover). Lowan Whole Foods has ceased to produce triticale flour on the grounds that "not enough people knew about it". There may be other suppliers, but two companies selling the flour are Four Leaf Milling Pty Ltd of Tarlee, SA and Kialla Pure Foods of Greenmount, Queensland.
Subprogram 2.1 1.06 Contact: Dr Kath Cooper 08 303 6563