Nailing down wheat quality: New Cooperative Research Centre

Looking to the future Australian wheat market, growers, through the GRDC, have made a seven-year investment in the newly-established Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Quality Wheat Products and Processes, headquartered in Sydney.

The wheat CRC brings together industry and publicly-funded researchers from throughout Australia. The unifying goal of collaborative projects is to control and specify the key value-determining characteristics of wheat for different markets, such as Asian noodles or baked products. Wheat CRC scientists are also working on new technology and are generally lifting the technical support and services available to cereal processing.

The big problem being addressed is outlined in the wheat CRC funding agreement with the Commonwealth: "A recent review of the quality requirements for Australian wheat markets ... has revealed large gaps in our ability to specify these requirements in terms of easily measurable parameters." The review was supported by the GRDC

The review also made clear that many of the conventional methods for measuring wheat quality are inappropriate or potentially misleading. A major strategy of this program is to address the identified gaps, in the markets of most relevance to the CRC industry participants."

In this issue of Ground Cover we look at two wheat CRC research programs of direct interest to growers.