A SELECT group of grain growers from across the country, including Tim Hayes, Badgingarra, were part of the Wheat Discovery Tour hosted at North Ryde, New South Wales, by GrainGrowers in partnership with the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC) last week.
The tour provided an opportunity for growers to learn more about wheat quality and how this affected end food products.
At AEGIC’s world-class milling and baking research facilities, growers were given a deeper understanding about wheat quality and what customers want from Australian wheat.
The team learnt about the flour milling process and how millers price wheat, what the nation’s world markets want from Australian wheat and experienced a hands-on workshop making bread and noodles.
GrainGrowers chief executive officer Dave McKeon said the tour provided an insight into Australia’s wheat markets and what its end consumer looked for in their daily bread or noodles.
“Australian farmers are focussed on growing a quality grain product and learning about the connection with millers, bakers and consumers is fundamental to this,” Mr McKeon said.
AEGIC Sydney general manager Ken Quail said it was a great opportunity for growers to learn more about wheat quality intricacies.
“The growers were extremely engaged and interested to discover more about the unique quality attributes of Australian wheat and how it is enjoyed by consumers in Indonesia, Japan, Vietnam and Australia’s other key markets,” Dr Quail said.
“Australian wheat is highly-valued in Asian markets for all types of noodles, ranging from instant to premium udon noodles.
“It’s also increasingly in demand for baking applications across Asia.
“The lucky growers might not be quite ready to set up a flour mill or open a noodle bar, but they certainly have a new appreciation for Australian wheat and what our markets value.”
Mr Hayes said he learnt a lot he wasn’t previously aware of.
“It’s good to see R&D money being put to good use,” Mr Hayes said.
“I thoroughly enjoyed learning about noodles and the process involved.”
AEGIC Sydney was once known as the Bread Research Institute of Australia and has been at the forefront of wheat quality research for more than 70 years.
The North Ryde facilities include a four-story commercial-scale pilot mill, pilot bakery and laboratory facilities.
These facilities are the centrepiece of AEGIC’s highly sought-after training courses.
Participants experienced a hands-on feel for wheat quality and how it affects the performance of end-products, including noodles and bread.