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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Pullman, Washington » WHGQ » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #318173

Research Project: Wheat Quality, Functionality and Marketablility in the Western U.S.

Location: Wheat Health, Genetics, and Quality Research

Title: Effect of soft kernel texture on the milling properties of soft durum wheat

item MURRAY, JESSICA - Washington State University
item Kiszonas, Alecia
item Wilson, Jeff
item Morris, Craig

Submitted to: Cereal Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/8/2016
Publication Date: 9/12/2016
Publication URL:
Citation: Murray, J.C., Kiszonas, A., Wilson, J.D., Morris, C.F. 2016. Effect of soft kernel texture on the milling properties of soft durum wheat. Cereal Chemistry. 93:513-517.

Interpretive Summary: In 2010 the world produced approximately 650 million tons of wheat; roughly six percent of this was durum wheat. Despite its relatively low production, durum wheat is an important food crop; most widely used in the production of pasta, couscous, and foods in Mediterranean countries. Durum production is limited due to the narrow range of products which currently utilize durum flour or semolina. Durum flour and semolina differ from flour produced from common wheat due to the unique kernel properties of durum wheat. Durum wheat kernels are harder than those of common wheat. Due to the extreme hardness of the grain, durum is typically milled on dedicated semolina mills. When milling durum the goal is not to produce a fine flour, but to separate larger pieces of endosperm from the bran, and this results in semolina, which has a much more limited range of end-use applications than traditional flour. There were three main objectives of this study. The first was to assess and compare grain properties of soft durum, durum, and common soft and hard wheats. The second objective was to evaluate the samples on three different mills using break flour yield, flour yield, starch damage, and other milling quality traits. The third objective was to examine the effect of varying temper levels on flour milling quality attributes.

Technical Abstract: Worldwide nearly twenty times more common wheat (Triticum aestivum) is produced than durum wheat (T. turgidum subsp. durum). Durum wheat is predominately milled into coarse semolina due to the extreme hardness of the kernels. Semolina, lacking the versatility of traditional flour, is used primarily in the production of pasta. The puroindoline genes, responsible for kernel softness in wheat, were introduced into durum, via homoeologous recombination. The objective of this study was to determine what impact the introgression of the puroindoline genes, and subsequent expression of the soft kernel phenotype, had on the milling properties and flour characteristics of durum. Two soft kernel back-cross derived durum varieties, Soft Svevo and Soft Alzada, were milled into flour on three separate mills at different temper levels. Samples of Svevo, a durum wheat, Xerpha, a soft white winter wheat, and Expresso, a hard red spring wheat, were included as comparisons. Soft Svevo and Soft Alzada exhibited dramatically lower SKCS hardness than the other samples. Soft Svevo and Soft Alzada had high break flour yields, similar to the common wheat samples and notably greater than the durum sample. Overall, Soft Svevo and Soft Alzada exhibited milling properties and flour quality comparable, if not superior, to that of common wheat.