Protein improvement could build Australian barley’s beer muscle in China

02 August, 2019

Cutting-edge gene technology is being used to boost the brewing performance of current Australian barley varieties in our biggest market – China.

Australia exports more than five times as much barley to China than the next largest market (Japan) with premium malting barley making up a healthy share of the demand.

AEGIC Barley and Oat Program Manager Mark Tucek said supporting this demand and the premium prices received was critical to the profitability of Australian barley farming.

“Previous AEGIC market intelligence confirmed that Australian barley is well-regarded in China for its excellent malting properties,” he said.

“However, China’s preferred barley protein levels are higher than Australia typically supplies.

“Barley protein is important in brewing. Too much protein can mean there isn’t enough starch available for optimum beer fermentation. Not enough protein affects beer flavour and foam characteristics, and can also affect the level of free-alpha-amino nitrogen (FAN), which feeds hungry yeast.”

Mr Tucek said Australia had an opportunity to take action to maintain the Chinese market by coming up with ways to enhance the performance of Australian barley protein for brewing.

“AEGIC’s response is to ask the research question: ‘is it possible for brewers to use existing barley protein more efficiently?’,” he said.

“Currently, a considerable amount of malt protein is discarded during brewing in the form of spent malt. Developing new ways to harness this wasted protein could be an opportunity for the Australian barley industry.”

Mr Tucek said the project was using the latest biochemical tools to identify, down to the level of individual genes, the important enzymes that affects malt protein utilisation and beer qualities.

“The ultimate aim of this research is to develop – and demonstrate to Chinese brewers – new techniques for malting and mashing to get the most out of existing barley protein, while maintaining beer quality.”

Mr Tucek said the project involved collaboration with Murdoch University. Chinese malt and beer producers have provided enthusiastic input to the project and are set to join as collaborators. The project could have impact in other markets beyond China in the future.

AEGIC is an initiative of the Western Australian State Government and Australia’s Grains Research and Development Corporation.

Media contact
Keir Tunbridge
0409 991 817

More News

21 April, 2021

AEGIC behind the scenes: Australian wheat for Asian noodles

The Japanese udon noodle market is Australia’s most stable premium wheat market. Japanese noodle lovers know what they like when they’re tucking into a delicious bowl of udon or ramen noodles. AEGIC runs a highly-trained udon noodle sensory evaluation program with the Japanese Flour Millers Association (JFMA) to ensure new Australian wheat varieties meet Japan’s strict requirements. […]

15 April, 2021

Enhancing noodle texture and colour

Asian flour millers prefer to buy Australian wheat for noodles because of its bright, stable colour and good texture. Thanks to a landmark AEGIC research project*, we know that noodle colour, colour stability, and texture are among the most important factors that flour millers look for when buying wheat for noodles. The research found that […]

13 April, 2021

50 – The Rise of the Middle Class

02 March, 2021

Whole grain for better health

Increasing whole grain consumption represents a major opportunity and challenge for the food industry. Extensive evidence now shows the connection between whole grain consumption and reduced risk of several chronic diet-related diseases. Greater intake of whole grains in the diet leads to reduced incidence of cardiovascular diseases, gastrointestinal diseases, cancer, and diabetes. To address this […]

26 February, 2021

AGIC Asia 2021 to reach Asian feed and whole grain buyers

The Australian Grain Industry Conference 2021 will feature a special session led by AEGIC on the benefits of Australian grains for animal feed, and the health benefits of whole grains for human consumption. AGIC Asia, which will be held virtually this year on Wednesday 3 March 2021, is a key date on the grain industry […]

05 February, 2021

Stimulating Australian feed grain demand in the Philippines and Thailand

Feed grain buyers in the Philippines and Thailand learned the compelling benefits of using Australian feed grains for swine following two well-attended AEGIC webinars this week. The webinars, presented in conjunction with Austrade, featured experienced Australian feed nutrition expert Tony Edwards as keynote speaker. The Philippines event attracted 150 representatives of the grain and animal […]

23 November, 2020

Statement regarding Grains Australia CEO appointment

The Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC) welcomes the appointment of Jonathan Wilson as the inaugural CEO of Grains Australia. AEGIC Chairman Ron Storey said the formation of Grains Australia was a significant milestone for the Australian grains industry. “Grains Australia will consolidate important industry good services and functions across the grains value chain,” he […]

19 November, 2020

Whole grain wheat: healthy for mi and youtiao

Youtiao – a type of fried bread stick popular all across Asia – could represent an opportunity to get healthy Australian whole grain wheat in the diets of health-conscious Asian consumers. Food lovers throughout Asia are becoming more and more interested in whole grain foods and their many health benefits, and flour millers are starting […]

12 November, 2020

Strengthening Australia’s wheat bond with Indonesia

A virtual seminar on the value and quality of Australian wheat attracted nearly 70 Indonesian flour millers and food manufacturers interested in the advantages of using Aussie wheat for noodles, bread and cakes. Hosted by AEGIC, and featuring CBH Grain and breeding company InterGrain, the event was part of the Australian Government’s IA-CEPA* Business Connect […]

Slider