AEGIC Insider #3: Potential new Australian Hard (Noodle) wheat: working with customers in Taiwan, Korea and Japan

09 October, 2023

Welcome to the third AEGIC Insider newsletter, your source for insights and information from AEGIC’s recent work in Australia’s key grain markets. Engaging with customers face to face allows us to demonstrate hands-on the specific benefits of Australian wheat and other grains. Importantly, it also gives customers the chance to give us feedback on any issues they may be having with Australian grain quality or supply.

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A potential new Australian Hard (Noodle) wheat subclass under investigation at AEGIC is edging closer to reality following noodle trials at major flour mills in Taiwan, Japan and Korea.

With investment from the South Australian Grains Industry Trust (SAGIT) and the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), we are working with flour millers to test specific wheat types we have flagged as having potential for premium-quality noodles.

If this research is successful, it could result in a new AH subclass called AH (Noodle). Hard wheat growers around the country could potentially benefit from the premium prices such a segregation could attract. The creation of a new subclass would ultimately be a decision of Grains Australia.


AEGIC Senior Research Scientist Dr Siem Siah and AEGIC General Manager Research & Technical Services Dr Ken Quail visited a major flour milling company in Taiwan recently to trial selected AH varieties.

The company was instrumental in driving wheat consumption in Taiwan, where rice once dominated. This company now has the largest market share in Taiwan and makes about a range of different flours, including many specialty noodle flours.

We presented a well-received seminar on Australian wheat for Asian noodles for the technical team, and then conducted noodle and steamed bun trials using flour samples from Australia.

The trials were very successful with our preferred wheat types delivering the best scores compared with the control samples.


As well as making excellent noodles, the Australian wheat samples performed very well for steamed bread.

AEGIC’s Dr Siem Siah (front, centre) and Dr Ken Quail (rear left) with the technical team.

Our Taiwan visit followed similar missions to Japan and Korea earlier this year to run trials for Japanese and Korean-style noodles made using AH wheats.


In Japan, trials with a major flour milling company were very successful, with most of our preferred varieties performing the best.

Japan currently imports Western Australian noodle wheat specifically for udon noodles. There are opportunities for more Australian wheat types to be used for other noodle styles, such as ramen.

Preparing ramen for sensory evaluation in a special soy sauce broth. The same soy sauce is used at AEGIC’s noodle lab when assessing noodles. The noodles are scored according to various sensory attributes, including appearance and mouthfeel.

Dried somen noodles on sale in Japan.


Similarly, our trials in Korea with three major flour mills, representing over half of the market share in South Korea, demonstrated that most of the prospective AH (N) wheat varieties identified by AEGIC have excellent potential for premium noodles.

Like Japan, Korea imports Western Australian noodle wheat for udon-style noodles and other noodle types, and there is potential for Australian Hard wheat from other growing regions to be used for different Korean noodle styles.

Dr Siem Siah travelled to Korea with AEGIC Program Leader Matt Yamamoto.

Sensory evaluation of Korean-style noodles, with AEGIC’s Dr Siem Siah (middle) and Matt Yamamoto (rear).

Dining out on “jjajangmyeon” noodles made from 100% Australian noodle wheat.

The results with the flour mills in Taiwan, Japan and Korea are very promising and provided excellent direction for the next phase of this project.

Demonstrating the performance of specific wheat varieties to flour millers makes it more likely they will select more Australian wheat for premium noodle flour types in the future.

An AH (N) subclass would potentially make it easier for millers to source noodles for these products, creating new value for Australian hard wheat growers.

AEGIC is an initiative of the Western Australian State Government and Grains Australia




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