Good starch, good news

Ann Pudney of the Bread Research Institute finds the best way to cut test noodles is simply with scissors.

More wheats may have potential for Japanese noodles

Scientists at CSIRO Plant Industry working in collaboration with the Bread Research Institute in Sydney have unlocked the chemical key to successful Japanese noodle manufacture. This opens the door to developing the noodle potential in a wider range of cultivars. The secret lies in the chemistry of the starch. The correct characteristics are now known, and can be recognised in tests. The characteristics are present in noodle wheats such as Gamenya and Eradu and the recently released Cadoux.

Ian Batey and his colleagues at the Grain Quality Research Laboratory have shown that many wheats have the right type of starch, but it is masked by other properties, preventing production of top quality noodles.

Thanks to this project, plant breeders now have some useful tests for the presence of good starch, and the encouragement of knowing that their efforts should be directed to exposing the quality that is probably already present. They will usually not have to introduce it from other lines.