Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Pullman, Washington » WHGQ » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #324748

Research Project: Soft Kernel Durum Wheat: Removing the Culinary Constraints of this Genetically Rich Cereal Species

Location: Wheat Health, Genetics, and Quality Research

Title: The influence of soft kernel texture on the flour, water absorption, rheology, and baking quality of durum wheat

Author
item Murray, Jessica
item Kiszonas, Alecia
item Morris, Craig

Submitted to: Cereal Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/19/2016
Publication Date: 3/9/2017
Citation: Murray, J.C., Kiszonas, A., Morris, C.F. 2017. The influence of soft kernel texture on the flour, water absorption, rheology, and baking quality of durum wheat. Cereal Chemistry. 94:215-222.

Interpretive Summary: The goal of this study was to determine the flour quality, rheological properties, and baking attributes of soft durum wheat, utilizing the most common wheat quality tests. Additionally, comparison of the soft durum samples to traditional ‘hard’ durum and common wheat samples was conducted. Soft durum is arguably an entirely new classification of wheat created by the introduction of puroindoline genes, which has an untold number of applications in the agricultural and food industries. Introgression of the puroindoline genes into durum wheat created a pronounced difference in the kernel texture and the milling properties, water absorption, rheological, and baking properties of soft durum as compared to traditional durum. Though the samples were tested for a majority of the major common wheat quality attributes it was evident that soft durum samples behaved in a manner not entirely consistent with traditional durum, soft hexaploid, or hard hexaploid wheats. Soft durum exhibits a unique combination of quality attributes that allow it to perform in an entirely unprecedented manner. It outperformed the soft white winter variety, Xerpha, in both cookie and bread baking, while additionally retaining the color and protein profile of the parent durum line. This study was in no way a comprehensive examination of all potential end-user applications of soft durum flour, but does indicate that soft durum flours have a place in the baking industry.

Technical Abstract: Durum (T. turgidum subsp. durum) wheat production worldwide is substantially less than that of common wheat (Triticum aestivum). Durum kernels are extremely hard; leading to most durum wheat being milled into semolina. Durum wheat production is limited in part due to the relatively limited end-user applications of semolina. In hexaploid, or commone wheat, the puroindoline genes are responsible for the expression of the soft kernel phenotype. Homoeologous recombination was utilized to introduce the puroindoline genes into durum wheat; resulting in soft durum wheat. The objective of this study was to determine what effect the introgression of puroindoline genes had on the flour and baking quality of durum wheat. Soft Svevo and Soft Alzada, back-cross derivatives of the durum varieties Svevo and Alzada, analyzed for flour component properties, rheological attributes, as well as bake quality. Xerpha, a soft white winter wheat, Expresso, a hard red spring wheat, and Svevo, a hard durum wheat, were included in the study as comparisons. The soft durum varieties exhibited an arguably new and unique set of flour and baking attributes as well as retaining the coloring and protein profile of their durum parents.