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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Graybosch, Robert - Bob
item Souza, Edward
item Berzonsky, William
item Baenziger, Stephen
item Chung, Okkyung

Submitted to: Journal of Cereal Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/10/2002
Publication Date: 7/31/2003
Citation: Graybosch, R.A., Souza, E., Berzonsky, W., Baenziger, S., Chung, O.K. 2003. Functional properties of waxy wheat flours: genotypic and environmental effects. Journal of Cereal Science.

Interpretive Summary: Alternative uses of our most common grain crops often is cited as a necessity for the development of a more sustainable agricultural system, and a means of salvation for rural economies. After many years of discussion, a well-defined alternative use of common wheat now is in sight. Waxy (amylose-free) wheats have a modified starch structure that will allow wheat starch to be used in a number of novel food and industrial applications. Waxy spring wheats were developed via traditional cross-breeding of lines carrying natural mutations that interrupt the synthesis of amylose, a natural component of wheat starch. The resultant starch consists only of amylopectin, another natural component. Waxy wheats, then, are 100% natural and non-GMO. The change in starch structure conferred different cooking properties to the waxy wheats. The cooking properties were remarkably stable over diverse cultural environments. Grain yield of the highest yielding spring waxy wheats was not significantly different from that of normal spring wheat cultivars included as controls. The study demonstrates that waxy wheats can be developed that will not carry a penalty in grain yield, that waxy wheats have unique functional properties, and that these functional properties are extremely resistant to modification by environmental factors. Commercial firms interested in using waxy wheats will be able to obtain consistent raw materials from diverse environments.

Technical Abstract: A set of waxy (amylose-free) experimental spring wheats (Triticum aestivum L.) of diverse parentage were grown, along with two non-waxy and two partial waxy check cultivars, at diverse North American cultural environments. Grain yield and functional attributes of derived flours were determined. Average grain yield of the waxy lines did not differ significantly from the average yield of the check cultivars, but significant differences were observed amongst the waxy lines. Grain hardness varied significantly amongst the waxy lines, and both hard and soft textured waxy lines were identified. Analysis of flour quality traits showed few differences between waxy lines and check cultivars for traits primarily related to protein concentration or protein quality, but many significant differences between properties primarily dependent upon starch structure, or related to milling behavior. Protein-related quality attributes of waxy wheats demonstrated environmental and genotypic variances similar to those typical of non-waxy wheats. Starch-related quality attributes of waxy wheats showed remarkable stability across environments, but some significant genetic variation was observed. End-users interested in employing waxy wheats should be able to select desired waxy lines, and feel confident that the starch-related functional properties will be environmentally stable.

Last Modified: 10/17/2017
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