“Supreme” reigns supreme in udon noodle wheat quality tests

Friday 8 January, 2016

Two new varieties of premium Australian noodle wheat have lived up to the high expectations of the Japanese udon noodle market in recent sensory tests conducted by the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre.

Noodle panel 2015

The two varieties, Supreme and Zen, underwent thorough testing by the AEGIC Sensory Panel over a four week period with the assistance of a visiting Japanese noodle expert.

Mr Akifumi Omori, representing the Japanese Flour Millers Association, aided AEGIC in the assessment of several advanced udon and ramen noodle lines during December 2015.

AEGIC Wheat Quality Technical Markets Manager Dr Larisa Cato said Supreme and Zen cemented their premium noodle status by coming out on top in noodle appearance and eating quality.

Supreme in particular displayed a unique combination of excellent noodle colour and texture,” Dr Cato said. “Supremehas also been evaluated separately in Japan by the JFMA, and was very highly rated by the JFMA Sensory Panel.”

Dr Cato said AEGIC collaborated regularly with the JFMA on behalf of the Australian wheat industry to ensure Australian noodle wheat reached the expectations of the Japanese market.

“Udon noodle lines are required to be evaluated by a trained sensory panel as part of the Australian Noodle Wheat (ANW) classification process, through Wheat Quality Australia. The AEGIC Sensory Panel undergoes annual training by visiting Japanese noodle experts,” she said.

AEGIC hosted Mr Omori for a four week testing period. During the visit, AEGIC also arranged for Mr Omori to visit the Clark family’s Westview farm in Bolgart to witness Australian noodle wheat production first-hand, as well as some in-country CBH receival points and Kwinana Port.

AEGIC also facilitated meetings with breeding companies Australian Grain Technologies and InterGrain. InterGrain bredSupreme and Zen.

AEGIC thanks CBH, InterGrain, AGT and the Clark family for their support.

Background

Australia, in particular Western Australia, has a long history of breeding and supplying high quality noodle wheat to Japan and Korea. Consistent quality and stable supply of Australian noodle wheat is of high importance to these markets.

AEGIC is committed to securing the future of this industry and will continue to work towards strengthening this relationship.

In September 2015, AEGIC released Western Australia’s noodle wheat industry – Current status and future challenges. This report, commissioned by the Wheat Council of the Grain Industry Association of Western Australia (GIWA), urged the Australian grains sector to consider the future direction of this important industry.

FACTS: Australia’s noodle wheat industry

  • The Japanese market, together with the Korean noodle market, collectively imported around 1.6 million tonnes of Western Australian wheat consisting of 700 000 to 800 000 tonnes of ANW grade wheat blended with a similar amount of APW wheat, in ratios specific to each country of destination.
  • Australian noodle wheat is preferred for the production of premium udon noodles due to its excellent starch quality (high swelling properties), bright flour colour and excellent colour stability, medium dough strength, and medium protein levels.
  • In addition to wheat and flour quality testing, sensory testing is also an important means of evaluating wheat varieties for classification into ANW.
  • Ideal udon noodle should have a unique balance of softness and firmness, often described as ‘soft noodle with slight surface firmness’ combined with good elasticity and stickiness.
  • Colour is also important. Favourable traits include good colour and colour stability, with superior udon noodles being described as having a ‘bright, creamy, slightly yellow colour’.

Media contact
Keir Tunbridge
0409 991 817