WA whole grain wheat products on the menu in Asia

28 September, 2023

AEGIC research is paving the way for healthy Australian whole grain wheat for Asian markets.

Asian markets are becoming increasingly interested in the substantial health and economic benefits of increased whole grain consumption.

Thanks to investment from the WA Government through the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD), AEGIC analysis proved that Australian wheat has unique advantages for whole grain products in Asian markets.

Generally, Asian consumers prefer bright, stable colour and neutral flavours in wheat-based products. Competing wheat exporting regions like north America and the Black Sea grow red wheat, which is fine for white flour because the red bran is removed, leaving the white endosperm. However, for whole grain foods, red wheat is at a disadvantage because it can make bread and noodles darker in colour, while also giving them a bitter flavour. The white bran of Australian wheat does not have these issues, giving it a clear advantage in Asian markets.

The health benefits of whole grains are well documented. Also significant are the economic gains. The Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council found that Australia could save $1.4 billion in healthcare costs just by increasing whole grain consumption. It’s not hard to see how considerable the benefits would be for the large populations of Asian countries.

In recent years AEGIC’s experts have taken these messages directly to customers in China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia and others via webinars, meetings and in-person workshops.

AEGIC also developed targeted information packs for customers demonstrating the benefits of Australian whole grains, as well as how to efficiently mill Australian whole grain wheat flour, and guidelines for incorporating whole grains into Asian products including coconut/pandan waffles, chocolate oat cookies, youtiao (fried dough) and dried noodles.

All this evidence adds up to a compelling case for why customers should be choosing Australian wheat for whole grains.

The material is appreciated by Australia’s grain customers and increases the probability that they will select Australian wheat for whole grain flour as demand increases.

AEGIC is an initiative of the Western Australian State Government and Grains Australia. This project received additional investment from the WA Government through DPIRD. This article was originally featured in DPIRD’s Grains Convo newsletter. 

Photo: whole grain youtiao (fried dough) developed by AEGIC

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