Baking workshops showcase Australia wheat

Group of people surround a table with bread lined up

Participants at a workshop in Jakarta examine the qualities of Australian grain in bread-making.

PHOTO: AEGIC

A series of technical baking workshops for flour millers, bakeries and food companies in Indonesia and the Philippines are part of a new project to increase the volume and value of Australian wheat used in the Asian bread sector.

‘Australian Wheat for Asian Baking’ is an initiative of the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC), funded through the GRDC and the Western Australian Government.

Workshops in the Philippines and Indonesia in February demonstrated Australian wheat’s performance in the production of Asian-style baked products.

AEGIC wheat-quality specialist Dr Larisa Cato says the project involves understanding market requirements and the acceptability of Australian wheat varieties, as well as studying dough mixing and processing.

This information will also be used to help Australian wheat breeders and growers to better target varieties with improved bread-making qualities for Asian consumers, with the overall goal of strengthening the position of Australian wheat in South-East Asia.

Dr Cato says the baking and milling industries in Indonesia are changing, with traditional artisan bakeries being replaced by industrial-scale operators.

“Consumption of wheat-based baked products in Asia continues to grow as Asian consumers adopt more Western-style diets. Australia is well placed to play a positive role in this change by understanding these industries’ requirements.”

The workshops were well received and participants highlighted the value of new information, particularly about the relationships between wheat, baking temperature and gluten development.

Dr Cato says conducting in-market workshops was an effective way of showcasing the quality and functionality of Australian wheat to customers in South-East Asia, including two of the world’s largest flour millers, Bogasari and Eastern Pearl Flour Mills.

The project involved collaboration with the international consultancy BakeTran, based in the UK, headed by baking expert Stan Cauvain. He says the key is to look ahead to the region’s market needs in five to 10 years’ time.

Workshops in Manila were attended by companies including San Miguel, Atlantic Grains, Philippine Foremost Milling Corporation, RFM Foods, Wellington Food Products International, URC and Monde Nissin.

Jakarta workshops were attended by Indonesia’s largest flour miller Bogasari and its customers, including the country’s largest bakery Sari Roti, as well as Mr Bread, Bread Line and MataHari. In Makassar, Indonesia, workshops were attended by milling and baking technicians from Eastern Pearl Flour Mills.

More information:

Dr Larisa Cato,
08 6168 9900,
larisa.cato@aegic.org.au

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