Wheat Variety From Australia Could Satisfy Asia’s Protein Demand

Monday, August 1st, 2016 | 874 Views

A wheat variety, termed ‘Tungsten’, developed in Western Australia could boost the nation’s export market, according to researchers. After 10 years in development, the seed produces the highest protein wheat on the market. This higher protein content could provide Australian farmers with a competitive edge against countries that have been delivering wheat with higher protein content to some of the country’s key customers like Asia.

The development of Tungsten is produced by Dr Ian Edwards, an adjunct professor of Murdoch University and principal of Edstar Genetics, a seed company at the Perth campus, ABC News reported.

Around 90 percent of Western Australia’s wheat is exported, with Southeast Asia as the biggest customer. The wheat is often blended into other exports however, as the protein content is insufficient to meet the demands of Asia’s bakeries and mills.

“A lot of the small bakeries have a higher demand for protein levels around the 13 per cent mark in flour … that’s a very tall order on our very light textured soils here in WA. So that sets the scene for the problem we wished to address,” Dr Edwards said.

Tungsten is found to have a protein content of 14 percent, after extensive national trials were conducted at 150 sites across five states in Australia.

“It’s been given a preliminary AH, or Australian hard grade, which actually does put it at higher price point and … would receive the top market price that is available at that time,” Dr Edwards said.

The variety is currently in large scale seed production in New South Wales, with 150 tonnes due to hit the market next year.