An investigation of grain characteristics, dough quality and baking performance of perennial wheats from contrasting parentage
Publication: Journal of Cereal Science
Researchers in New South Wales, Australia examined the functionality of perennial wheat in its physical and chemical composition, milling yield, and baking quality in comparison to annual, conventional bread wheat cultivars, revealing that perennial wheat at times offers advantages over annual wheat in baking and is overall suitable for these culinary applications.
Perennial grains are being developed to improve the environmental sustainability of grain production systems. However, to maximise their commercial viability, a clearer understanding of their food processing properties is required. In this study, the functional properties of selected perennial wheat breeding lines grown at sites in central New South Wales, Australia, were compared to each other and an annual bread wheat cultivar. Lines were assessed for grain yield parameters, rheological properties (wholemeal and refined flour), starch properties, milling yield and refined flour baking quality. Perennial wheats were found to differ from expected behaviours attributed to annual wheat, offering novel combinations of grain characteristics. Despite softer grain and rheological tests indicating only moderate gluten strength, several lines exhibited better baking performance than the conventional bread wheat control. Furthermore, flour water absorption was found to decrease with increasing grain hardness, the opposite of that normally observed for annual wheat. The results demonstrated that with appropriate breeding and selection, perennial wheat offers good potential for baking.