Location: Grain Quality and Structure Research2021 Annual Report
OBJECTIVE 1: Determine and improve analytical methods for the biochemical and macro-molecular interactions responsible for hard winter wheat end-use quality. Sub-objective 1A: Establish connections between glutenin subunit composition and polymeric protein content and composition and functionality of hard winter wheat. Subobjective 1B: Assess the potential of near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) in the evaluation of tortilla quality, particularly changes that occur in tortillas during the staling process and compare to subjective analysis (rollability) and objective analysis. OBJECTIVE 2: Evaluate and report the milling (processing and intrinsic end-use quality) parameters of hard winter wheat commercially-viable cultivars as part of a Congressionally-designated direct mission of service. Subobjective 2A: Evaluate and screen the quality attributes of hard winter wheat experimental breeding lines and improve quality of existing hard winter wheat cultivars for end-product quality of the world’s wheat-based staples, such as bread (whole wheat), tortillas, noodles and other products desired by customer markets. Subobjective 2B: Coordinate and conduct essential hard winter wheat projects of national importance, such as Wheat Quality Council (WQC), Regional Performance Nursery (RPN) and Hard Winter Wheat Crop Quality Survey (HWWCQS) for improvement of U.S wheat quality.
Cereal grains are the foundation of food and nutrition worldwide with the United States being a perennial leader in hard winter wheat (HWW) production. Thus, domestic and international customers come to expect high quality wheat from the Great Plains. That said, there continues to be challenging international competition for the global HWW market. To ensure the U.S. remains competitive both domestically and internationally, the end-use quality of hard HWW must continually be evaluated and improved. This project will identify the physical and biochemical components of hard winter wheat that contribute to functionality. In addition, we will evaluate the intrinsic end-use quality of hard winter wheat progenies for wheat breeding programs in the Great Plains Area as a regional wheat quality laboratory (Hard Winter Wheat Quality Laboratory, HWWQL). The HWWQL provides critical end-use quality data to the HWW growing region and conducts three annual evaluation projects that include the Wheat Quality Council Evaluations, Regional Performance Nursery Program and Hard Winter Wheat Crop Quality Survey, as well as hundreds of breeding lines from breeders in the Great Plains and adapted HWW areas of eastern States, such as NC, SC, GA, KY and VA. The data from these projects assist breeders, producers, millers, bakers and other key industry components, in making pivotal decisions regarding breeding, agronomics, processing and marketing of experimental and commercial wheat varieties.
The Hard Winter Wheat Quality Laboratory (HWWQL) provides critical information to the plant breeding community, domestic and international markets on an annual basis (Sub-objective 2A). End-use quality evaluation of experimental wheat lines in the USDA Regional Performance Nurseries, as well as evaluation of advanced lines submitted to the Wheat Quality Council, are service/research activities critical to the continued success of the Hard Winter Wheat industry (Sub-objective 2B). In total, over 2000 wheat samples were tested by the HWWQL, with over 40 quality characteristics reported for each sample submitted. Real-time wheat quality data were also provided to the wheat industry during the annual wheat harvest and updated on a weekly basis for potential buyers. Over 600 wheat samples were tested specifically for this wheat industry milling and baking survey.
1. ARS scientists in Manhattan, Kansas, completed the annual Hard Winter Wheat Crop Quality Survey. Over 600 individual and more than 100 composite, Hard winter wheat samples were evaluated for milling and baking quality. The resulting data was posted in real-time to a webpage managed by Plains Grain Inc. as the harvest progressed; the data was also used by U.S. Wheat Associates in their final annual report for domestic and international export customers.
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